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Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 
Washington, D. C, September 4, 1925. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Forty- 
second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1925. 

With appreciation of your aid in the work under my 
charge, I am, 

Very respectfully yours, 

J. Walter Fewkes, 
Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 




Systematic researches 4 

Special researches 15 

Editorial work and publications 16 

Illustrations 17 

Library 18 

Collections 18 

Miscellaneous 19 


Social Organization and Social Usages of the Indians of the Creek Con- 
federacy, by John R. Swanton 23 

Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians, by John R. 

Swanton 473 

Aboriginal Culture of the Southeast, by John R. Swanton 673 

Indian Trails of the Southeast, by William Edward Myer 727 






J. Walter Fewkes, Chief 

The operations of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1925, were conducted 
in accordance with the act of Congress approved June 7, 1924, 
making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the 
Government, which act contains the following item : 

American ethnology : For continuing ethnological researches among 
the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, including the exca- 
vation and preservation of archseologic remains, under the direction 
of the Smithsonian Institution, including necessary employees and 
the purchase of necessary books and periodicals, $57,160. 

The poUcy of the Bureau of American Ethnology in the 
past has been that of a pioneer, but from necessity the field 
work of the staff has been both intensive and extensive, 
mainly reconnaissance. As a pioneer, the bureau has opened 
up new lines of research in the study of the ethnology of the 
American Indians and has blazed a trail for others in several 
fields. While contributing to science technical monographs 
on certain Indian tribes, it has at the same time prepared and 
circulated, through publication, articles of a popular char- 
acter covering the whole subject. The object has been to 
furnish reliable data for students wishing accurate knowledge 
of the American Indians. 

The aboriginal culture of our Indians is rapidly disappear- 
ing and being replaced by the white man's civihzation. Cer- 
tain tribes have already lost almost all their native customs, 
and others will follow rapidly until little of scientific value 
remains for ethnological field work. The older men among 
them, who in their prime knew the native cults and rituals, 
are passing away, and the younger generation of Indians 
who are taking their places are almost entirely ignorant of 
the significance of the rituals or ceremonials. Current fables 



and metaphoric stories, mainly explaining the characteristics 
of animals, are now often claimed to be mythologic, although 
many of them have value as tales, not as myths. The In- 
dian culture is passing away and soon will be lost. It is the 
intention of the Bureau of American Ethnology to record it 
before its extinction. 

The excavation and preservation of archeologic remains, 
from which much valuable scientific material may be ob- 
tained, constitute a task which is only just begun. The 
bureau has for many years been a pioneer in this work, and 
in many areas it has been the only investigator. The first 
publication of the Smithsonian Institution was on an archeo- 
logical subject, and with the passing years the bureau has 
followed this line of work with vigor. 

It is a traditional, sound policy of the institution, as a 
result of the relatively small allowance for the field study of 
the Indians, to cooperate, rather than to attempt to compete 
with those who have a much larger income. This poHcy 
has been pursued by the bureau during the past year. 

The chronicles of De Soto's wonderful tri]:) through our 
Southeastern States introduced to the attention of historians 
a remarkable aboriginal American culture, one of the most 
advanced in North America outside of Mexico. It was, as 
has generally been the case, built on agriculture, and the 
dominant tribal religion of its civilization was a complex of 
Sun, Fire, and Great Serpent cults. From Tampa Bay to 
the Mississippi River, De Soto encountered numerous tribes, 
differing in language and in minor ethnological features, 
but all belonging to the same culture with a worship charac- 
teristic wherever agriculture served as a source of food. 
As time went by and renewed exploration brought Europeans 
into more intimate contact with the Indians of the Gulf 
States, historians and others published many articles on 
their ethnology, but as the tribes were moved west of the 
Mississippi and the opportunities for the field worker were 
diminished, the time came for the ethnologist to yield to 
the archeologist to make his contribution to the subject. 
Here Lies a great field for further studies, with ample work 
for both the historian and the archeologist. 


The two areas in aboriginal America north of Mexico in 
which agriculture reached its highest development were the 
Southwest, or that part of our domain bordering on Old 
Mexico, and those States bordering on the Gulf of Mexico, 
including the mound builders from the Ohio River to the 
Gulf. The investigation of the southwestern or pueblo 
region is at present attracting many archeologists amply 
furnished with funds, but the Southeastern or Gulf States 
have been more or less overlooked. The bureau has begun 
an archeological reconnaissance, as far as its resources will 
aUow, in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. 
Last year special attention was given to the Indian mounds 
at Muscle Shoals in Alabama. The work in Tennessee, 
southewi Florida, and Mississippi, so auspiciously begun 
by the late Mr. W. E. Myer, has been continued by Mr. 
P. E. Cox, State archeologist of Tennessee. Mr. H. B. CoUins, 
assistant curator, division of ethnology, United States 
National Museum, was allotted a small appropriation for 
preliminary investigations and reconnaissance along the 
Pearl River in Mississippi, the prehistoric home of the 
Choctaw tribe. The results of this work were very satis- 

Work on the Muskhogean culture, or the antiquities of 
the Gulf States, promises important results in comparative 
ways, and will, it is hoped, shed Light on the religion of 
aboriginal tribes of North America. We are able to re- 
construct, in a way, from historical sources, the main outlines 
of the Gulf culture, but the documentary references to the 
material culture of the Muskhogean tribes are incomplete. 
More information is needed regarding the ritualistic sacra, 
idols, ceremonial objects, and symbolism on pottery, before 
we can reconstruct the cultus. The material for this study 
is now buried in the soil, but intensive archeological work 
wiU bring it to light. In essentials, the culture of the 
prehistoric people of the Gulf States is such as we find 
universal among agricultural people in America emerging 
from savagery into barbarism, and the religion has much in 
common vath. that of the Pueblos. 



The chief spent several weeks in reconnaissance near 
Florence, Ala., making excursions to several mounds in that 
vicinity, especially those that will be submerged when the 
Wilson Dam at Muscle Shoals is flooded. Mr. Gerard 
Fowke, who had immediate charge of the excavations in 
two of these mounds, obtained a considerable collection 
containing unique objects, among which are three rare copper 
ornaments, the largest ever found in the valley of the Ten- 
nessee. His report will be published later. 

The chief at that time visited Montgomery, Ala., where 
he was most hospitably received. While there he made an 
examination of the Graves collection, one of the most 
remarkable in the State. 

The chief has given advice to the National Park Service 
of the Interior Department on the new National Monument 
near Flagstaff, Ariz., which is now called by the Hopi name 
Wupatki. This monument includes the well-preserved 
buildings near Black Falls on the Little Colorado, first 
described and figured by the writer a quarter of a century 
ago, at which time he recommended that they be made a 
National Monument, and this has now been done by proc- 
lamation of the President. 

The most important collection of archeological objects 
received during the past year was contributed by Mr. J. C. 
Clarke, of Flagstaff, Ariz., custodian of the Wupatki ruin. 
It consists of about a hundred specimens of pottery, shell 
and bone implements, and other artifacts from a burial 
mound at Youngs Canyon excavated by workmen in the 
course of construction of a road near the city. These 
objects were received at a time when material from that 
region of the Southwest was particularly desirable. The 
chief has prepared an illustrated report on this collection 
in which he calls attention to its importance. The collection 
contains unique specimens and is accompanied by a good 
catalogue by Mr. Clarke. One of the most interesting of 
these is a black and white pottery ladle, the handle of which 
is molded into a cradle containing a clay figure. There is 


also a finely incised head-ornament of bone, recalling those 
worn by the Bow priesthood at Zuni, and suggesting similar 
ornaments of the Hopi idol of the war god. The collection 
shows evidence of cremation and m-n burial. 

The pottery objects are archaic, and the interiors of cer- 
tain black and wliite food bowls are decorated with artistic 
figures similar to those on polychrome ware from Tokonabi, 
near Marsh Pass, in northern Arizona. It is probable from 
the pottery that the people who buried their dead at Youngs 
Canyon were related to a population antedating Pueblos, 
which A\'as scattered over a great area in Arizona from the 
Little Colorado north to the San Juan, and from the western 
boundary of the State of New Mexico. This people had no 
circular kivas or ceremonial rooms hke those at the Mesa 
Verde, or the San Juan area, but they were fine potters who 
decorated their ware with artistic geometrical designs. 

The nimiber of written requests for information on ethno- 
logical subjects the last few years has more than doubled, 
and the time of the chief, as well as of the members of the 
staff, is correspondingly absorbed. 

During the past year Mr. Earl H. Morris, under the direc- 
tion of the chief of the bureau, did necessary repair work on 
the famous tower of the Mummy Cave House in the Canyon 
del Muerto, Arizona, which once contained three rooms. 
All woodwork on the first ceihng has been torn out; only the 
haggled ends of a few supports remain embedded in the 
walls. The cleanly peeled poles which supported the second 
ceihng are in place, and the third ceihng, or original roof, is 
still intact. It is probably the most beautiful ceihng re- 
maining in any ruin in the Southwest, its only rivals being 
the coverings of one or two rooms in the north side of Pueblo 
Bonito, and in Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde. 

This tower has been in a dangerous condition for a long 
time. There was originally a retaining wall below it, rising 
from the very brink of the ledge, which held in place the 
fiU of loose rock and refuse upon which the House of the 
Tower stands. Eventually, through erosion, all but the 
eastern end of tliis wall coUapsed, probably because of the 
insecure foundation afforded by the abruptly sloping rock, 


and much of the material behind it washed over the cUff. 
Later, the not infrequent winds which sweep over the cave 
with unbehevable force blew out the dust and rock pebbles 
until the southwest corner of the tower was undermined 
more than 3 feet and the wall eastward weakened almost 
to the opposite corner. 

The cracks in the west wall were wider in November, 1924, 
than they were a year previous. The removal of half a dozen 
shovelfuls from the unconsohdated mass of earth beneath 
the front would have loosened the large block just beyond its 
western end, which prevented the entire coUapse of the ma- 
sonry. In addition to the periodic action of the wind, each 
visitor who passed from the eastern to the western part of 
the cave trod this portion of the loose mass below the waU 
farther down the slope, and sent clods and pebbles ratthng 
over the chff. Before many years this block would have 
been loosened and the tower would have fallen. 

During the repair work buttresses were built beneath and 
inclosing the large blocks under the west end of the tower, 
and under the undermined portion of the latter, continuing 
back to the limit of undermining, and extending well forward 
of the masonry. At the junction of the two, wedges were 
driven to knit the new work firmly to the old. From the 
east end of the buttress a retaining wall was built to connect 
with the remnant of the old one on the brink of the ledge, and 
the space behind it was filled, thus providing a platform in- 
stead of the former steep slope at the southeast corner of the 
tower. This repair work will temporarilj^ preserve one of the 
finest gems of aboriginal architecture in the entire Southwest, 
but it should be supplemented by the addition of "turn- 
buckles" anchored to the cUff and by the rebuilding of the 
southeast corner, which should be bonded to the east and 
front wall to preserve it for centuries to come. 

During the fiscal year Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnologist, 
discovered further material bearing on the social and religious 
life of the Creek Indians, and this was extracted and incor- 
porated into his papers on those subjects which are now 
being prepared for pubhcation by the editor. A study also 


was made of the various smaller culture centers within the 
region covered by our present Gulf States, and a paper on 
the "Culture of the Southeast" was prepared as a result of 
this work. A short paper on the "Ethnology of the Chicka- 
saw" was begun and carried nearly to completion, and the 
^\■Ol•k of carding references to all words from the publications 
of early Florida missionaries in the now extinct Timucua 
language has been continued, and all of the words from three 
of the five texts and from more than half of the fourth had 
been extracted by the end of the year. An abbreviated hand- 
book of the Indian tribes in the United States and Alaska 
was prepared to accompany a map of the same section. 

Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnologist, prepared for publica- 
tion a manuscript entitled "A Sauk and Fox Sacred Pack." 
He also wrote the Indian text of one of the great sacred packs 
of the Thunder gens of the Fox Indians and worked out the 
English version thereof. Doctor Michelson also prepared 
an Indian text, with English version, of the Owl dance which 
belongs to the Bear gens. He began translating a Fox text on 
the sacred pack named " Sagimakwawa" which belongs to the 
Bear gens of the Fox Indians and which was taken care of 
by Pushetonequa, the last chief recognized by the Govern- 
ment. He corrected the galley proofs and the first page 
proofs of the Fortieth Annual Report of the bureau, which 
made it possible to incorporate some additional material 
appurtenant to the White Buffalo Dance and Fox mortuary 
customs and beliefs. Doctor Michelson employed Horace 
Poweshiek to translate 1,000 pages of Fox texts which con- 
tain additional information on the Fox society knowii as 
"Those Who Worship the Little Spotted Buffalo." In 
June Doctor Michelson went to Tama, Iowa, to renew his 
researches among the Algonquian tribes of that State. He 
verified the new data on the Fox society named above and 
some Fox texts on the Buffalo Head Dance of the Thunder 
gens, obtaining much additional information of this dance 
and other information on the Thunder gens. A translation 
of the Fox texts on the Sturgeon gens was obtained, as well 
as certain information on the Wolf gens. 


During the fiscal year Mr. John P. Harrington, ethnologist, 
was engaged in the preparation for publication of his material 
on the excavation and early history of the Burton Mound 
Indian village situated at Santa Barbara, Calif., the prin- 
cipal rancheria of the Santa Barbara Indians. The Am- 
bassador Hotel, which had stood on the mound for many 
years, and had completely barred it to scientific investigation, 
was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1921. By joint arrange- 
ment with the IVIuseum of the American Indian, a thorough 
excavation of this mound was made, and a large and attrac- 
tive collection of artifacts was obtained, as well as a mass of 
archeological and historical material. Mr. Harrington com- 
pleted the elaboration of this material and it was submitted 
for publication, including maps and numerous photographs. 

The old Indian name for the Burton Mound village was 
Syujtun. Mr. Harrington's work revealed the interesting 
fact, not previously pointed out, that this rancheria is 
mentioned four times in the "Relacion" of Juan Rodri- 
guez Cabrillo, who discovered Alta CaUfornia in 1542. 
Father Crespi, who kept the diary of the Portola expedition, 
writing in 1769, describes this village in some detail. Other 
early accounts tell that Yanonalit, its chief, had under him 
12 other villages besides the Burton Mound. After the 
Indian population was removed to the near-by Santa Bar- 
bara Mission, which was accomplished gradually after the 
establishment of the mission in 1782, the Franciscans erected 
a massive adobe warehouse on the mound, the old Indian 
canoe landing place in front of the mound having become 
"el puerto de Santa Barbara" (the port of Santa Barbara). 
Ships visiting Santa Barbara used to get water from the 
large spring on the southern slope of the mound. Joseph 
Chapman, a young Englishman who had been captured 
when pirates made a raid on the California coast, purchased 
the mound from the Franciscans in the early twenties and 
started a flour mill there. In the forties the mound be- 
came the property of George Nidiver, famous otter hunter 
and friend of General Fremont. In the sixties the mound 
property was owned by Lewis T. Burton, whose name it still 
bears. The hotel was erected on the site in 1901. The 


shape and extent of the Indian village and graveyards was 
laboriously worked out by excavation and successive cidtures 
traced, for the site proved to be very ancient. 

In the cemetery plots most of the bodies were buried in 
hunched-up positions with the head to the north ; that is, in 
the direction of the mountain range. Many of the graves 
had been hned with whalebone slabs, some fine specimens of 
which were obtained. A great variety of belongings, large 
and small, had been stored away with the bodies, and traces 
of matting, basketry, and wooden utensils indicated that the 
archeologist had been deprived of the richest treasures 
through decomposition in the ground. One complete wooden 
awl for basketry, such as is described by the early fathers, 
was recovered. Several of the graves contained caches of 
large and beautifully finished steatite bowls; these were 
manufactured at the steatite quarries on South Catalina 
Island and were brought up the channel for barter in Indian 
canoes. Screening the earth brought a surprising variety of 
shell and glass beads. The shell beads have been sorted and 
classified, and the kind of native shell used for each variety 
has been determined. 

In 1924 the Burton Mound property was sold and sub- 
divided. Extensive grading of the property for new streets 
and trenching for pipe hues of various kinds was carefully 
watched and reported on by Prof. D. B. Rogers and Mr. G. W. 
Bayley, who have cooperated with Mr. Harrington in this 
work, and yielded new information about the stratification 
of the mound and a collection of artifacts. A new hotel 
with cellar excavations is about to be built on the crest of 
the mound and observation of these operations will doubtless 
add still further data to that already presented in the report. 

On completing the Burton Mound paper, Mr. Harrington 
prepared a report on the archeology of Santa Barbara 
County, dealing with the sites of the county along both 
historical and archeological Lines. This is a virgin field of 
research and has already yielded important contributions 
to our knowledge of the culture sequences of the ancient Cali- 
fornia Indians of tliis region, which had the most special- 

82517°— 28 2 


izod and lughl.y developed culture of the State. This work 
illumines the fact that the early population of the channel 
was dense and that there were numerous wars and tribal 
shiftings. The section of the coast from which the islands 
were populated and the comparative ages of rancheria sites 
are also apparent from this work. 

In October, 1924, Mr. R. O. Marsh brought to Washington 
a party of eight Tule Indians from Panama, who remained 
in the city until Januarj^, 1925. This afforded opportunity 
for studying the language, which is a peculiarly interesting 
one. Possessing only 18 letters and employing them both 
short and long, it sounds to the ear more like Finnish than 
Uke the average American Indian language. The language 
may be described as melodious, simple and flexible in struc- 
ture, yet very rich and extensive in vocabulary. It is spoken, 
with slight dialectic differences only, by a very large body of 
Indians, who formerly held a strip of Caribbean coast more 
than 240 miles long between the Canal Zone and the south 
of the Rio Atrato, together with the numerous fertile keys 
off the coast. Lists were obtained of sociological terms, 
names of places, plants and animals, and designations of 
material culture objects. Songs and speech were recorded 
on the dictaphone. 

The Indians have been called Tules, Cunas, Comogres, 
and San Blasehos. Of these names the first is preferable 
because it is the native name of the tribe. The word Tule 
means merely "Indian," it being understood that it refers to 
Indians of that peculiar kind and language. It is related to 
the word tula, meaning 20, that is, all fingers and toes, an 
entire Indian. 

The collection of Tule ethnological objects donated by Mr. 
Marsh to the National Museum was examined with the 
Indian informants, and the native names of the objects were 
recorded, together with information about their use. 

The best informant in the party was Chief Igwa, who is 
"capitan" over some 10 keys, and is one of the leading men 
in the councils of the tribe. He has traveled much about the 
Tule country and knows hundreds of places by name, being 
a good ethnogeographical informant. The chief prepared a 
large map showing these places. 


Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, left Washington in May, 
1925, for Brantford, Canada, to resume his researches among 
the Six (originally Five) Nations, or Tribes, of the Iroquois, 
the Mohawk, the Seneca, the Onondaga, the Oneida, the 
Cayuga, and the Tuscarora, and also among the Munsee of 
the Delaware Algonquian group of languages who dwell on 
the Haldimand grant on the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. 

Here Mr. Hewitt took up the literary interpretation, 
revision, and textual criticism of previously recorded volumi- 
nous Iroquoian texts relating to the constitution of the 
League or Confederation of the Iroquois Tribes, embodying 
its laws and ordinances and the rituals of the council of 
condolence for the deceased, and the installation of new 
members of the Federal and the tribal councils. 

With the aid of the two best Mohawk informants available 
who still retain some definite knowledge of portions of the 
ancient institutions of the League of the Iroquois, Mr. Hewitt 
made a free English translation of an iinportant one of these 
rituals, in addition to the free rendering of the chant of 
"The Seven Songs of Farewell," and thereby recovered the 
symbolic reason for the very peculiar name of the former. 
This ritual is called Ka'rhawe'''hra'to"' in Mohawk, and 
Ga'hawe°'ha'di' in Onondaga, meaning, "Cast or Thrown 
over the Grand Forest." When used ceremonially both these 
chants are separated into two portions, and the four portions 
alternate in their rendition in such manner that part one of 
the one chant is followed by part one of the other; and jDart 
two of the first is followed by part two of the second chant. 
But when chanted "a veil of skins" (shawls or blankets serve 
in modern times) must be hung across the place of assembly 
in such wise as to divide the mourning from the other side 
of the league. 

Ceremonial or legislative action by the tribe or by the 
league is taken only through the orderly cooperation of the 
two sisterhoods of clans for the former, or of two sisterhoods 
of tribes for the latter. This dualism in the highest organic 
units of organization was originally based on definite mythic 
concepts. In either organization one sisterhood represented 
the female principle or the motherhood in nature, and the 


other sisterhood the male principle, or the fatherhood in 
nature. This dualism is thought to be so important that the 
language of the rituals and of official courtesy employs terms 
embodying the ethnic and mythic significance of it. 

By a searching study of all symbohc terms and phrases 
occurring in the chants of these rituals, which impliedly 
might refer to the highest dramatized situation revealed by 
these two divided chants, the parts of which are recombined 
as described above, Mr. Hewitt was able to identify beyond 
all reasonable question the phrase " the veil of skins " with 
the other phrase "the grand forest." The "grand forest" 
represents ritualistically the totality of the forests which 
intervene between the lands of the mourning side of the league 
and those of the other side, represented as sjanbolically intact 
in mind. It must not be overlooked that either the mother 
side or the father side may be the "mourning side"; the 
designation, of course, alternates between the two sides, 
depending on the fact of the loss of one or more of the mem- 
bers of the Federal council belonging to it at any given time. 

The sisterhood of tribes functioned by the independent 
action of its constituent institutional units — every several 
tribe. In turn every tribe functioned through the organic 
units of its own internal organization — each several clan, to 
execute its prescribed part in the larger Federal action, which 
otherwise would not be authentic or authoritative; so that 
a clan or an individual in a clan, in special cases involving 
personal rights, might prevent vital Federal action. So 
personal rights were abundantly safeguarded. 

Mr. Hewitt purchased a very fine specimen husk mask of 
the Corn Mother, with a short explanatory text. 

Mr. Hewitt also made a reconnaissance trip to the Chip- 
pewa of Garden River, Canada, for the purpose of expanding 
and deepening his knowledge of certain Chippewa texts, 
recorded in 1921 by him from the dictation of Mr. George 
Gabaoosa, of Garden River, and also to obtain data in regard 
to the derivation of two very imj^ortant proper names, 
ChijDpewa and Nanabozho (appearing in literature also as 
Nenabojo, Menaboju, and Wenaboju), and also to inform him- 
self as to the ethnologic value to be placed on the fast-fading 


remains of the ethnic culture of this and cognate tribes in Uke 
situations and antecedents. The myth of Mudjikevvis, "The 
First-Born (on Earth)," commonly called the story of 
Nanabozho (i. e., Indbi'oji'o'), remarkable for beauty and 
comprehensiveness, details the circumstances which gave rise 
to the name "Nanabozho." In that recital the name appears 
as Indbi'oji'o' and means, "Created, or Formed, by the Look 
(of the Great Father Spirit)." 

The name Chippewa appears in literature in no less than 97 
variant spellings, with a half dozen or more unsatisfactory 
definitions. But to those who first gave the name Chippewa 
(in its native, not Europeanized, form) to these people 
picture-writing was ethnically distinctive and characteristic 
of them, as the well-known birchbark records of these people 
amply testify. So the name Chippewa signifies hterally, 
"Those who make pictographs," and thus emphasizes one of 
the distinctive arts of these peoples. 

The Seneca in Missouri and Oklahoma were visited for 
the express purpose of identifying them tribally, if the 
available information made this possible. Since the middle 
of the eighteenth century these Seneca have not been closely 
affiliated with the Seneca tribe of New York State and 
Canada. There has been expressed doubt that these 
western Seneca had the right to this name. But after 
visiting and interviewing many families of these western 
Seneca dwelling about Seneca, Mo., and Miami and Picher, 
Okla., Mr. Hewitt was convinced that they are mainly 
emigrants from the parent Seneca tribe of New York and 
Canada and from the Cayuga of these last-named places; 
naturally, there are also some famihes of other Iroquoian 
tribes, such as the Wyandot and possibly the Conestoga. 
A porcupine clan and a fox clan were reported. The last 
was a Conestoga clan. 

Mr. Francis La Flesche, ethnologist, completed his paper 
on two versions of the child-naming rite of the Osage tribe. 
The first version belongs to the In-gthon-ga or Puma gens, 
and the second to the Tsi-zhu Wa-shta-ge or Tsi-zhu Peace- 
maker gens. Each gens has its own version of the rite and 
no other gens can use it without permission. This paper 


contains 201 typewritten pages and 20 illustrations. Mr. 
La Flesche spent a part of the month of May and all of 
June, 1925, among the Osages. In the early part of this 
visit he and his assistant, Ku-zhi-si-e, a full-blood Osage, 
undertook the laborious task of properly recording the 
gentile personal names used by the full-blood members of 
the tribe and by some of the mixed bloods. Superintendent 
J. George Wright, of the Osage Agency, kindly iDermitted 
them to use as a guide in doing this work an annuity pay 
roll of the third and fourth quarters of the year 1877, which 
was found in the files of his office. This roll contains about 
1,900 Indian names, most of them misspelled. Besides cor- 
recting the spelling of the names, Mr. La Flesche and his 
assistant added to the name of each annuitant the name of 
his or her gens. Ku-zhi-si-e was much amused to learn 
that his boy name, "I-tse-tha-gthin-zhi," was carried on the 
pay roll as "E-stah-o-gra-she," and that the boy name of 
his friend Wa-non-she-zhin-ga was put on the roUs as Me- 
pah-scah, instead of "In-bae-sca," the correct name. 

Wlien the work of revising the names on the annuity roll 
was concluded, Ku-zhi-si-e drove over the hiUs on his farm 
with Mr. La Flesche and showed him many wild plants which 
were useful to the Indians as medicine or food. Some of 
these plants were woven into large mats for house covering, 
and into rugs to spread on the floor of the house to sit upon. 

Wa-non-she-zthin-ga (the chief of the tribe) also took 
tramps among the trees on his farm with Mr. La Flesche, 
and showed him a number of trees and explained to him their 
uses, and gave to him their native names, which he recorded. 
This man pointed out a tree which he called "Zhon-sa-gi," 
hard wood. The saplings of this tree he said were used for 
the frames of the houses. When green the wood was easily 
cut -with a knife or ax, but when seasoned it was very hard 
to cut. The chief cut a branch from a small tree and carried 
it with him when he and Mr. La Flesche returned to the 
house. The chief whittled off some of the bark from the 
branch and dipped the shavings in a glass of water and the 
water quickly became blue like indigo. Mr. Paul C. Stand- 
ley identified this tree as the blue ash, or Fraxinus quad- 



The following manuscripts of Indian music have been pur- 
chased during the fiscal year from Miss Frances Densmore: 
"War, wedding and social songs of the Makah Indians," 
"Songs connected with JVIakah feasts and dances," "Music 
and customs of the Tule Indians of Panama," "Songs and 
instrumental music of the Tule Indians of Panama," "Songs 
for children and material culture of the Makah Indians," 
and 17 mathematical group analyses of 167 Papago songs, 
according to the method of such analyses in previous work. 
This material (apart from the group analyses) comprises 150 
pages of text, numerous photographic illustrations, and the 
transcriptions of 69 songs, together with the original phono- 
graph records and descriptive and tabulated analyses of in- 
di\'idual songs. The last named are the analyses from which 
the mathematical analyses are made, these showing the pecu- 
liarities of the songs of an entire tribe with results expressed 
in percentages. These in turn form the basis for comparative 
tables, which show the characteristics of the music of different 
tribes. Such tables of comparison in "Mandan and Hidatsa 
Music" comprise 820 songs collected among sLx tribes, and 
material awaiting publication will add more than 500 songs 
to this number, including songs of widely separated tribes. 
It seems possible that these tables may show a connection 
between the physical enviromnent of the Indians and the 
form assumed by their songs, as interesting contrasts appear 
in the songs of different tribes. 

The final paper on the Makah Indians included a descrip- 
tion of the uses of 26 plants in food, medicine, and dye. 
Specimens of the plants had been obtained on the reserva- 
tion, and their botanical identification was made by Mr. 
Paul C. Standley, of the United States National Museum. 
The Makah were head hunters and a detailed account of 
their war customs was presented. The caste system pre- 
vailed in former days and famihes of the upper class had 
wealth and leisure. The wedding customs \\-ere marked by 
festivity and by physical contests, the songs of which were 

The presence in Washington of a group of Tule Indians 
from the Province of Colon, Panama, made possible a study 


of forms of primitive music which, it is believed, have not 
hitherto been described. The Tule Indians are unique in 
that they do not pound on a drum, a pole, or any other object. 
Their favorite instrument is the "pan pipe" of reeds. Two 
men usually play these pipes, sounding alternate tones. The 
music of these pan pipes was phonographically recorded and 
transcribed as nearly as is possible in musical notation. An 
instrument which, as far as known, has not been previously 
observed, is a reed flute having two finger holes but no 
"whistle opening." The upper end of the reed is held inside 
the mouth, possibly touching the roof of the mouth, and for 
this reason the instrument is designated as a "mouth flute." 
A gourd rattle, conch shell horn, and bone whistle complete 
the musical instruments of these Indians. 

The words of the songs narrate a series of events, such as 
the preparation for a wedding and a description of the fes- 
tivity, or the illness and death of a man, followed by "talk- 
ing to his spirit." Chief Igwa Nigidibippi, who recorded the 
songs, was a trained singer. 


The editing of the publications of the bureau was continued 
through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, editor, assisted by 
Mrs. Frances S. Nichols, editorial assistant. The status of 
the publications is presented in the following siunmary: 


Thirty-eighth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: An Introduc- 
tory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians, 
by Walter E. Roth. 745 pp., 183 pis., 341 figs. 

Thirty-ninth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Osage 
Tribe: The Rite of Vigil, by Francis La Flesche. 636 pp., 17 pis., 
4 figs. 

Bulletin 78. Hanaoook of the Indians of California, by A. L. Kroeber. 
X, 995 pp., 83 pis., 78 figs. 


Fortieth Annual Report. Accompanying papers: The Mythical 
Origin of the White Bufi'alo Dance of the Fox Indians; The Auto- 
biography of a Fox Indian Woman; Notes on Fox Mortuary Cus- 
toms and Beliefs; Notes on the Fox Society Known as " Those Who 
Worship the Little Spotted Buffalo''; The Traditional Origin of the 
Fox Society Known as "The Singing Around Rite" (Michelson). 


Forty-first Annual Report. Accompanying papers: Coiled Basketry 
in British Columbia and Surrounding Region (Boas, assisted by 
Haeberlin, Teit, and Roberts) ; Two prehistoric Villages in Middle 
Tennessee (Myer). 

Forty-second Annual Report. Accompanying papers : Social Organi- 
zation and Social Usages of the Indians of the Creek Confederacy; 
Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians; 
Aboriginal Culture of the Southeast (Swanton) ; Indian Trails of 
the Southeast (Myer). 


The distribution of the publications of the bureau has been 
continued under the immediate charge of Miss Helen Munroe, 
assisted by Miss Emma Powers. Publications were dis- 
tributed as follows: 

Report volumes and separates 3, 426 

Bulletins and separates 3, 458 

Contributions to North American ethnology 38 

Introductions 5 

Miscellaneous publications 427 


As compared with the fiscal year ended June 30, 1924, 

there was a decrease of 6,609 publications distributed. This 

was undoubtedly due not to a decrease in applications, but 

to the fact that only one publication was distributed during 

the year just ended, whereas four publications were issued 

in the preceding fiscal year and distributed to the mailing 



Mr. DeLancey Gill, illustrator, with the assistance of Mr. 
Albert Sweeney, continued the preparation of the illustrations 
of the bureau. A summary of the work foUows: 

Illustrations mounted, retouched, and made ready for engrav- 
ing 927 

Drawings of objects, maps, etc., prepared 38 

Portraits of visiting Indians (2 Kiowa, 8 Tule) 27 

Negative films from field exposures 54 

Photostat prints from books and manuscripts 178 

Negatives of ethnologic and archeologic subjects 273 

Photographic prints for distribution and office use 1, 649 


On account of the large amount of illustrative work, 
reclassification of the large collection of negatives has not 
progressed as rapidly as last year. About 7,000 negatives 
have so far been catalogued. 


The reference library has continued under the immediate 
care of Miss Ella Leary, Ubrarian, assisted by Mr. Thomas 
Blackwell. During the year 480 books were accessioned. Of 
these 100 were acquired by purchase, 280 by gift and ex- 
change, and 100 by binchng of periodicals. The periodicals 
currently received number about 975, of which 40 are by 
subscription, the remainder through exchange. The hbrary 
has also received 187 pamphlets. The aggregate number 
of volumes in the library at the close of the year was 26,101; 
of pamphlets, 15,512; also several thousand unbound peri- 
odicals. The Library of Congress, officers of the executive 
departments, and out-of-town students have made use of 
the library through frequent loans during the year. 


The following collections, purchased or acquired by mem- 
bers of the bureau or by those detailed in connection with 
its researches, have been transferred to the United States 
National Musemii: 

83522. Small collection of ethnologia purchased by the bureau from 

Miss Emily S. Cook. 
84260. Collection of archeological material secured by Mr. D. L. 

Reichard for the bureau, from BerryviUe, Va. 
84444. Small stone celt, and a lot of pottery bowl ornaments from 

Porto Rico, presented to the bureau by Mrs. Ahce de 

Santiago, Barceloneta, Porto Rico. 

85018. Collection of ai-cheological material collected for the bureau 

by Gerard Fowke from moimds near Town Creek, Ala. 

85019. Archeological material collected for the bureau by Dr. J. 

Walter Fewkes, from mounds near St. Petersbm-g, Fla. 
S5319. Ai-cHeological material collected for the bureau by Gerard 

Fowke, from momids near Town Creek, Ala., on the site 

of the Wilson Dam, Muscle Shoals. 
85343. Stone bird pipe found near Hydes Ferry, on the Ciunberland 

River, about 7 miles below Nashville, Temi. 


85344. Five complete skulls and fragmentary remains of about 12 
crania collected by Gerard Fowke from Hog Island Mound, 
near Tow^l Ci-eek, Ala. 
Five skulls collected by Earle O. Roberts, Harrah, Wash. 

85780. Collection of skeletal material secured by Gerard Fowke at 

the Alexander Mound near Courtland, Ala. 

85781. Collection of skeletal material wliich was unearthed !}£ miles 

north of Boynton, Fla., and sent to the bureau by Mr. 

E. S. Jackson, of Palm Beach, Fla. 
85824. Collection of archeological objects secm-ed b}^ Mr. J. O. 

Sanderson, of Courtland, Ala., and purchased by the 

85856. Two pipes, one of steatite and the other of marble, collected 

for the bureau by Gerard Fowke from the Alexander 

Moimd in LawTence County, Ala. 
87297. Collection of archeological material secured for the bxireau at 

Youngs Canyon, about 183^ miles east of Flagstaff, Ariz., 

by Mr. J. c' Clarke, of Flagstaff. 
83949. Human remains from Weeden Island, St. Petersburg, Fla., 

secured by the chief of the bureau dm-ing the winter of 



Clerical: The correspondence and other clerical work of 
the office has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk 
to the chief. Mr. Anthony W. Wilding, typist, has been 
engaged in copying manuscripts and in various duties con- 
nected ^;vith the office of the chief. Miss Julia Atkins, sten- 
ographer and typist, resigned October 15, 1924. Mrs. A. H. 
Kitchen was appointed temporarily December 13, 1924, for 
three months, the appointment terminating March 13, 1925. 
]\Iiss Mae W. Tucker was appointed temporarily ]\Iay 1. 
1925, as stenographer and typist. 

Respectfully submitted. 

J. Walter Fewkes, 


Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution. 











Introduction 31 

Native legends dealing with Creek history 33 

Origin legends 33 

The first meeting between the Creeks and the white people 75 

Prophecies regarding the fate of the Indians 77 

Social organization 79 

The household 79 

The family 79 

General remarks 79 

Terms of relationship SO 

Names and titles 97 

Clans, phratries, and moieties 107 

Native explanations of their origin 107 


Clans 114 

Phratries 120 

Moieties 156 

General remarks 166 

Distribution with reference to the land and the town 170 

Seating in the ceremonial grounds 174 

The town 242 

Natural classification of Creek towns 248 

Evolution of the Creek Confederacy 259 

Government 276 

Property 334 

Crime and punishment 338 

_ General customs 358 

The vital cycle 358 

Puberty and childbirth 358 

Education 363 

Marriage 368 

Division of labor between the sexes 384 

Burial 388 

The diurnal cycle 398 

The annual cycle 400 

War 405 

Agriculture 443 

Hunting 444 

Means of communication 446 

Travel and greetings 447 

Trade 452 

Counting 453 

Games 456 

Bibliography 47 1 

Index 859 

82517°— 28 3 25 




1. Creek churches and burials 190 

2. Creek Ceremonial or Busk Grounds, a. General view of the Busk 

Ground of Chiaha Seminole, Seminole County, Okla., in 1912. 6. 
The Square Ground of Pakan tallahassee near Hanna, Okla., in 1912. 
c. The North or Chiefs' Bed of Pakan tallahassee 212 

3. Creek Ceremonial Grounds, a. The Square Ground of Eufaula (1912). 

6. The South (or Southeast) Bed of Tukabahchee. c. Tukabahchee 
Square Ground from the west entrance 212 

4. Creek Ceremonial Grounds, a. Camp at ceremonial ground, h. 

The Chiefs' Bed at Hilibi, winter of 1911-12. c. Cabin for the cer- 
emonial utensils, back of the Chiefs' Bed at Eufaula 224 

5. Creek Ceremonial Grounds, a. Mound for the War and Buffalo 

dances in the old Tukabahchee Busk Ground near Melette, Okla. 
6. The Alabama Square Ground in the summer of 1912, looking 
northwest, c. The Square Ground of Liwahali Seminole in 1912, 
looking northeast 224 

6. The Ceremonial Ground of Chiaha Seminole, a. The Chiefs' Bed, 

looking north, h. A view through the square, looking north, c. 
Camp sites near the square 234 

7. Creek Ceremonials, a. A Seminole home in Oklahoma, h. Conjur- 

ing the medicine before a ball game. c. Ball players taking the 
medicine 234 


1. A typical Creek Ceremonial or Busk Ground, showing its relation to 

the town. (After Bartram) 172 

2. Ancient pattern of Creek Ceremonial or Busk Ground. (After Bar- 

tram) 176 

3. Later pattern of Creek Ceremonial or Busk Ground. (After Bar- 

tram) : 177 

4. Structure of the roof of a Creek tcokofa. (After Hitchcock) 180 

5. One of the beds in the Alabama Square Ground as it appeared in the 

early part of the eighteenth century 187 

6. Plan of the Talladega Square Ground 205 

7. Talladega Ceremonial Ground (including Square) in 1912 206 

8. Plan of the Abihka Square Ground (near Eufaula, Okla.) 207 

9. Plan of the Square Ground of Abihka-in-the-West 208 

10. Plan of the Square Ground of Kan-tcati 209 

11. Conjectural arrangement of the Coosa Square Ground 210 

12. Plan of a Creek Ceremonial Ground as given by Swan 211 

13. Plan of the Otciapofa Square Ground 211 

14. Otciapofa Ceremonial Ground in 1912 212 

15. Plan of the Square Ground of Tulsa Little River 213 

16. Tulsa Little River Ceremonial Ground in 1911 214 

17. Plan of the Square Ground of Tulsa Canadian 215 

18. Plan of the Lutcapoga Square Ground (I) 216 

19. Plan of the Lutcapoga Square Ground (II) 217 

20. Plan of the Nuyaka Square Ground 218 




2L Nuyaka Ceremonial Ground in 1912 219 

22. Plan of the Okfuskee Square Ground 220 

23. Plan of the Abihkutci Square Ground 221 

24. Plan of the Talniutcasi Square Ground 222 

25. Plan of the Tcatoksof ka Square Ground 223 

26. Plan of the Pakan tallahassee Square Ground (I) 224 

27. Plan of the Pakan tallahassee Square Ground (II) 225 

28. Pakan tallahassee Ceremonial Ground in 1912 226 

29. Plan of the Wiogufki Square Ground (I) 227 

30. Plan of the Wiogufki Square Ground (II) 228 

31. Wiogufki Ceremonial Ground in 1912 229 

32. Plan of the Tukpafka Square Ground 230 

33. The old Tukpafka Ceremonial Ground as it appeared in 1912 231 

34. Plan of the Square Ground of Asilanabi 232 

35. The Asilanabi Ceremonial Ground in 1912 233 

36. Plan of the Okchai Square Ground 234 

37. Okchai Ceremonial Ground in 1912 235 

38. Plan of the Lalogalga Square Ground 236 

39. Lalogalga Ceremonial Ground in 1912 238 

40. Plan of the Wiwohka Square Ground (I) 239 

41. Plan of the Wiwohka Square Ground (II) 240 

42. Plan of the Tuskegee Square Ground (I) 241 

43. Plan of the Tuskegee Square Ground (II) 242 

44. Plan of the Square Ground of Koasati No. 2 243 

45. Plan of the Tukabahchee Square Ground (I) 244 

46. Plan of the Tukabahchee Square Ground (II) 245 

47. Plan of the Tukabahchee Square Ground (III) 246 

48. Tukabahchee Ceremonial Ground in 1912 247 

49. The old Tukabahchee Ceremonial Ground near Melette, Okla., as 

it appeared in 1912-14 248 

50. Plan of the Atasi Square Ground (I) 249 

51. Plan of the Atasi Square Ground (II) 250 

52. Plan of the Kealedji Square Ground (I) 251 

53. Plan of the Kealedji Square Ground (II) 252 

54. Site of the old Kealedji Ceremonial Ground in 1912 253 

55. Plan of the Laplako Square Ground (I) 254 

56. Plan of the Laplako Square Ground (II) 255 

57. The Laphiko "rallying ground" used before ball games, as it appeared 

in 1912 256 

58. Plan of the Liwahali Square Ground 257 

59. Plan of the Hilibi Square Ground 258 

60. Hilibi Ceremonial Ground in 1912 259 

61. Plan of the Eufaula Square Ground (I) 260 

62. Plan of the Eufaula Square Ground (II) 261 

63. Eufaula Ceremonial Ground in 1912 262 

64. Plan of the Alabama Square Ground (I) 263 

65. Plan of the Alabama Square Ground (II) 264 

66. Plan of the Alabama Square Ground (III) 264 

67. The .\labama Ceremonial Ground in 1912 265 

68. Plan of the Kasihta Square Ground (from Hawkins) 265 

69. Plan of the Kasihta Square Ground (from Gatschet) 266 

70. Plan of the Kasihta Square Ground (III) 267 

71. Plan of the Kasihta Square Ground (IV) 268 

72. Plan of the Okmulgee Square Ground 269 



73. Plan of the Apalachicola Square Ground (Talwa Jako) (I) 270 

74. Plan of the Apalachicola Square Ground (Talwa lake) (II) 271 

75. Plan of the Hitchiti Square Ground 272 

70. Plan of the Yuchi Square Ground. (After Speck) 273 

77. Plan of the Coweta Square Ground (I) 274 

78. Plan of the Coweta Square Ground (II) 275 

79. Plan of the Square Ground of Likatcka or Broken Arrow 276 

80. Plan of the Square Ground of Eufaula Hobayi (I) 277 

81. Plan of the Square Ground of Eufaula Hobayi (II) 278 

82. Plan of the Chiaha Square Ground (I) 279 

83. Plan of the Chiaha Square Ground (II) 280 

84. Plan of the Osochi Square Ground (I) 281 

85. Plan of the Osochi Square Ground (II) 282 

86. Plan of the Square Ground of Ochesee Seminole 283 

87. Plan of the Square Ground of Okfuskee Seminole 284 

88. Okfuskee Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 285 

89. Plan of the Square Ground of TaUahasutci Seminole 286 

90. TaUahasutci Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 287 

91. Plan of the Square Ground of Hitchiti Seminole 288 

92. Plan of the Square Ground of Eufaula Seminole 289 

93. Eufaula Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 289 

94. Plan of the Square Ground of Liwahali Seminole (I) 290 

95. Plan of the Square Ground of Liwahali Seminole (II) 291 

96. Liwahali Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 291 

97. Plan of the Square Ground of Chiaha Seminole 292 

98. Chiaha Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 293 

99. Plan of the Square Ground of Mikasuki Seminole (I) 294 

100. Plan of the Square Ground of Mikasuki Seminole (II) 295 

101. Mikasuki Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 296 

102. Face painting used by the Tuskegee Indians. The spots in solid 

black represent red ; the cross-hatched spots green 297 

103. Head of a Creek warrior. (After Romans) 406 

104. Arrangement of players at the opening of the Creek ball game 462 

105. Alabama method of recording scores in the ball game 464 

106. Design marked upon a bear skin in preparation for an Alabama 

game resembling pachisi 469 

107. Preparation of ground for the Creek game of Tcato tcalitcka 470 



By John R. Swanton 


In Bulletin 73 I reviewed the history of the Indian tribes which 
constituted temporary or permanent parts of the Creek Confederacy, 
and extended consideration to some of the peoples beyond with which 
they had intimate dealings, the tribes of Florida, and the Chickasaw, 
even including a brief mention of the Choctaw. This work was 
mainly an objective study, based upon Spanish, French, and English 
documents — -the story of these tribes as related by the Europeans 
who came in contact with them. 

A similar history of the same peoples from internal sources is, of 
course, impossible, the nearest approach to it being in the so-called 
origin or migration legends which contain but few facts of real 
historical value and must be assimied to apply only to a relatively 
recent period. A substitute for them must be sought in the arche- 
ological record left by the tribes as interpreted through an intensive 
study of the ethnology of their living representatives. 

I have incorporated all of the Creek origin myths which I have been 
able to collect into the present paper. The rest of the space is 
devoted mainly to a discussion of the social and political organiza- 
tions of the Creeks and their general social customs and usages. 

The greater part of the present material was collected within the 
limits of the former Creek Nation, Okla., between September, 1911, 
and May, 1912, and on several shorter trips during the years imme- 
diately following. In this connection I wish to render a most grateful 
tribute to George Washington Grayson, the most prominent and 
intelligent of all Creek Indians of his time, their representative in 
every important conference and at every crisis in their affairs, and at 
the time of his death chief of the nation. He was deeply interested 
in the history and ethnology of his people and did everything in his 
power to facilitate the work of all students of them. He rendered 
most valuable service to the late Albert S. Gatschet, and afterwards 
did everything in his power to assist the investigations of the writer, 
as well as to render his visits personally comfortable and intellectually 
delightful. For much of the included material Mr. Grayson is re- 
sponsible, directly or indirectly, and the author wishes that it be con- 



sidered in some degree a monument to him. Mr. Grayson had begun 
to compile a history of his hfe which woukl have been of the greatest 
interest to both the ethnologist and the historian, but unfortunately 
death intei-vened before it was well under way. By the courtesy of 
his family I have been able to incorporate a few items from that 
manuscript in the present work. I also wish to mention my indebted- 
ness to Zachariah Cook, of Wetumka, Okla., also deceased, who acted 
as my interpreter during the greater part of my travels away from 
Eufaula, Mr. Grayson's home. Being interested in all of the matters 
under investigation, himself a former chief of Tukabahchee and 
hence presiding officer at the annual ceremonies, he proved of the 
greatest utility in many ways and was able to contribute largely 
from liis o\vn experience. Another leading informant was Jackson 
Lewis, a Hitchiti doctor who stood high in the estimation of both 
Indians and whites. Valuable material was obtained from Rev. 
William McCombs, a native Baptist missionary, who has ministered 
to Creek congregations for a great many years ; from Legus Ferryman 
of the old Okmulgee town, at one time head chief of the nation; from 
Judge James R. Gregory, also of Okmulgee; and from Ellis Childers, 
chief of Chiaha and formerly prominent in Creek national affairs. 
Many other Creeks and Seminoles contributed to the work directly or 
indirectly, among whom may be mentioned the following: Jun Star, 
Siah Gray, Jackson Knight, Alex Tecumseh, Barney McGillivray, 
John Goat, George Hill, Fulotkee, Billy Yahola, Koakotci, Yatihka 
Hadjo, George Hicks, Hannah Jones, Sanger Beaver, Wotkotci, Caley 
Proctor, Sawanok Hadjo, NokosiU, Pahoshobaiotci, Tal-mutcas 
Hadjo, Sam Laslie, Pin Hadjo, Sarty Deacon, Tob Hill, Dave Hany, 
Silas Jefferson, Dave Cummings, Tom Culler, George Holaby, William 
Sulhvan, Washington Riley, Sarty Cowee, Kasihta Yahola, Gohah 
Jones, Big Jack, Woksi Hadjo, John Baker, William Fish, Caesar 
Buckle, Jun Sapulpa, Will Sapulpa, Joe Wotko, Winey Tiger, Sam 
Haynes, John Spott, John Buck, Billy Tiger, Wilham Berryhill, John 
Davis, Philip Marshall, Tob Tiger, Yonasi, Katca Holahta, Tciban 
Hadjo, Billy Koker, George Colbert, Imala, Okuskj' Miller, Caesar 
Jones, and Naktcagotci. My data from the Alabama Indians hving 
in Texas was obtained chiefly from two old people, George Henry and 
his wife Celissy Henry, and from my interpreter, Charlie Thompson. 
Some information on the Koasati Indians was secured from Jackson 
Langley, chief of the Koasati band in Louisiana, and from his mother, 
Salin Langley. The spelling of many of these names, particularly 
the native ones, is probably different from that which they themselves 

This material has been supplemented liberally by means of the 
older authorities on the tribes under discussion, particularly Adair, 
Bartram, Swan, Hawkins, Hitchcock, and certain anonymous French 


writers, and this is particularly true of that part of the work dealing 
with customs like war which are now obsolete or obsolescent but 
could be made subjects of direct observation at the time in which 
they wrote. I have also made liberal use of the material published 
in recent yeai's by Prof. Frank G. Speck, of the University of Penn- 
sylvania, particularly liis paper on "The Creek Indians of Taskigi 
Town" (Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association, vol. 
n, pt. 2). His more extensive work on the Yuchi has been men- 
tioned only incidentally, as the Yuchi are an alien tribe incorporated 
into the Creek Confederacy in comparatively modern times. Their 
culture, however, presents numerous features resembling that found 
among the Creeks, and Professor Speck's paper (Ethnology of the 
Yuclii Indians, Anthropological Publications of the University 
Museum, University of Pennsylvania, vol. i, no. 1) should be read in 
conjunction with the material here presented. The valuable and 
hitherto unpublished Hitchcock material was placed at the disposal 
of the Bui'eau of Ethnology through the kindness of Mrs. W. A. 
CrofFut, General Hitchcock's niece. 

The following peculiar phonetic signs are used: }, im voiced 1; a, 
obscure a; tc, EngUsh ch; c, English sh; ", nasahzation of the pre- 
ceding vowel; X and x (in Natchez), palatal and velar spirants; 
vowels generally have continental values. 


Origin Legends 

The origin myths of the Hitcliiti and Alabama, minor components 
of the Creek Nation, have been given in Bulletin 73.' Here it is 
proposed to include the origin myths of the dominant tribe, that 
which constituted by far the largest portion numerically and from 
wliich came the crystallizing force which united them all into one 
political body. Who the Muskogee were and what towns they occu- 
pied has been explained in the bulletin above mentioned. The origin 
legend, or the origin legends, of these people differed to some extent 
in the several Muskogee towns, but there was a harmony between the 
various versions, perhaps brought on pari passu with the progressive 
unification of the confederacy. There are many references to tliis 
legend in very general terms, but several stories have suivived, 
which, though usually fragmentary, shed most valuable light upon 
the nature of the original. The earliest of these legends is that 
given to Governor Oglethorpe by one Chekilli,- who is styled "em- 
peror of the Upper and Lower Creeks," and was probably a Kasihta. 
At any rate the legend seems to be from Kasihta sources. According 
to the American Gazetteer, as quoted by Gatschet, " This speech 
was cui"iously written in red and black characters, on the skin of a 

' Swanton, Early Hist. Creek Inds., Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 172-174, 191-192. 
' Perhaps from Tcalaki Uitci, "Cherokee killer." 


young buffalo, arul translated into English, as soon as delivered. 
. . . The said skin was set in a frame, and hung up in the Georgia 
Office, in Westminster." ^ Of course this means that pictures had 
been made on the blanket similar to those in the Delaware Walam 
Olum, to mark the various important events narrated by the speaker. 
It has unfortunately been lost, along with the accompanying English 
text, but a German translation of the English was preserved, and 
from this Doctor Gatschet had the legend rendered again into English 
and also into Creek for liis " Migration Legend of the Creek Indians." 
This version, including one or two corrections made by Doctor Gatschet 
in one of liis personal copies of the work, is as follows: 

" What Chekilli, the Head-chief of the Upper and Lower 
Creeks said, in a talk held at Savannah, Anno 1735, and which 
WAS handed over by the Interpreter, Written upon a Buffalo- 
skin was, word for word, as follows: 

"[Speech, which, in the year 1735, was delivered at Savannah, 
in Georgia, by] * Chekilli, Emperor of the Upper and Lower Creeks; 
Antiche, highest Chief of the town of the Cowetas, Eliche, King; 
Ousta, Head-chief of the Cussitaws, Tomechaw, War King; Wali, 
War-captain of the Palachucolas, Poepiche, King; Tomehuichi, 
Dog-king of the Euchitaws; Mittakawye, Head War-chief of the 
Okonees, Tuwechiche, King; Wlioyauni, Head War-chief of the 
Chehaws and of the Hokmulge Nation; Stimelacoweche, King of 
the Osoches; Opithli, King of the Jawocolos [Sawokli]; Ewenauki, 
King; Tahmokmi, Wai-captain of the Eufantees [misprint for Eu- 
fauleesl]; and thirty other Warriors.^ 

"At a certain time the Earth opened in the West, where its mouth 
is. The Earth opened and the Cussitaws came out of its mouth, 
and settled near by. But the Earth became angry and ate up their 
children; therefore, they moved further West. A part of them, 
however, turned back, and came again to the same place where 
they had been, and settled there. The greater number remained 
behind, because they thought it best to do so. Their children, 
nevertheless, were eaten by the Earth, so that, full of dissatisfaction, 
they journeyed toward the sunrise. 

" They came to a thick, muddy, slimy river — came there, camped 
there, rested there, and stayed over night there. The next day, 
they continued their journey and came, in one day, to a red, bloody 
river. They lived by this river, and ate of its fishes for two years; 

> Gatschet, Creek Mig. Leg., vol. I, p. 236. 

* This bracketing is copied from Gatschet. 

' The following transliterations and translations of a part of these names were furnished by the late G. 
W. Grayson and A. S. Gatschet: .\natitci, to wound; Ilitci, to kill, or putting something down; Osta, four 
(?); Tometca, (a number of creatures) flying; Wali, from wahali, south (though Gatschet suggests the 
name of the coast province of Georgia, Ouale, see Bull. 73, Bur. .\mer. Ethn., p. 80 et seq.); Poepitce, to 
cause to win; Uoyahani, to pass by; Stimalakoetci, somebody having caused something to come; Hopili, 


but there were low springs there; and it did not please them to remain. 
They went toward the end of this bloody river, and heard a noise as 
of thunder. They approached to see whence the noise came. At 
first they perceived a red smoke, and then a mountain which thun- 
dered; and on the mountain was a sound as of singing. They sent 
to see what this was; and it was a great fire which blazed upward, 
and made this singing noise. This mountain they named the King 
of Mountains. It thunders to this day; and men are very much 
afraid of it. 

'• They here met a people of three different Nations. They had 
taken and saved some of the fire from the mountain; and, at this 
place, they also obtained a knowledge of herbs and of other things. 

"From the East, a white fu-e came to them; which, however, they 
would not use. From Wahalle [the South] came a fire which was blue ; 
neither did they use it. From the West, came a fire which was 
black; nor would they use it. At last, came a fire from the North, 
which was red and yellow. This they mingled with the fire they 
had taken from the mountain; and this is the fire they use to-day; 
and this, too, sometimes sings. On the mountain was a pole which 
was very restless and made a noise, nor could any one say how it 
could be quieted. At length they took a motherless cliild, and 
struck it against the pole; and thus killed the child. They then 
took the pole, and carry it with them when they go to war. It was 
like a wooden tomahawk, such as they now use, and of the same wood. 

"Here they also found fom- herbs or roots, which sang and dis- 
closed their virtues: First, Pasaw [pasa], the rattlesnake root; 
second, Mwoweanochaw [miko hoyanidja], red-root; third, Sowaichl~o 
[sowatcko], which grows like wild fennel; and fourth, EscJialapootchlce 
[hitci laputcki], little tobacco. These herbs, especially the first 
and third, they use as the best medicine to purify themselves at 
their Busk. At this Busk, which is held yearly, they fast, and make 
offerings of the first fruits. Since they have learned the virtues of 
these herbs, their women, at certain times, have a separate fire, and 
remain apart from the men five, six, and seven days, for the sake of 
purification. If they neglected this, the power of the herbs would 
depart; and the women would not be healthy. 

"About this time a dispute arose, as to which was the oldest, 
and which should rule; and they agreed, as they were four Nations, 
they would set up four poles, and make them red with clay which 
is yellow at first, but becomes red by burning. They would then 
go to war; and whichever Nation should first cover its pole, from 
top to bottom, with the scalps of their enemies, should be the oldest. 

" They all tried, but the Cussitaws covered their pole first, and so 
thickly that it was hidden from sight. Therefore, they were looked 
upon, by the whole Nation, as the oldest. The Chickasaws covered 


their pole next; then the Atilamas [Alabamas]; but the Obikaws 
[Abilakas] did not cover their pole higher than to the knee. 

"At that time there was a bird of large size, blue in color, with a 
long tail, and swifter than an eagle, which came every day and killed 
and ate their people. They made an image in the shape of a woman, 
and placed it in the way of this bird. The bird carried it off, and 
kept it a long time, and then brought it back. They left it alone, 
hoping it would bring something forth. After a long time, a red 
rat came forth from it, and they believed the bird was the father of 
the rat. They took council with the rat how to destroy its father. 
Now the bird had a bow and arrows; and the rat gnawed the bow- 
string, so that the bird could not defend itself, and the people killed 
it. They called this bird the King of Birds. They think the eagle 
is also a great King; and they carry its feathers when they go to War 
or make Peace; the red mean War; the white. Peace. If an enemy 
approaches with white feathers and a white mouth, and cries Hke 
an eagle, they dare not kill him. 

"After this they left that place, and came to a white footpath. 
The grass and everything around were white; and they plainly 
perceived that people had been there. They crossed the path, and 
slept near there. After-ward they turned back to see what sort of 
path that was, and who the people were who had been there, in the 
belief that it might be better for them to follow that path. They 
went along it to a creek called Coloose-hutche, that is, Coloose-creek, 
because it was rocky there and smoked. 

" They crossed it, going toward the sunrise, and came to a people 
and a town named Coosaw. Here they remained four years. The 
Coosaws complained that they were preyed upon by a wild beast, 
wliich they called man-eater or lion, which lived in a rock. 

" The Cussitaws said they would try to kill the beast. They 
digged a pit and stretched over it a net made of hickory-bark. They 
then laid a number of branches, crosswise, so that the lion could not 
follow them, and, going to the place where he lay, they tlu'ew a 
rattle into his den. The lion rushed forth in great anger, and 
pursued them through the branches. Then they thought it better 
that one should die rather than all ; so they took a motherless child, 
and threw it before the lion as he came near the pit. The lion 
rushed at it, and fell in the pit, over which they threw the net, and 
killed him with blazing pine-wood. His bones, however, they keep 
to this day; on one side, they are red, on the other, blue. 

"The lion used to come every seventh day to kill the people; 
therefore, they remained there seven days after they had killed him. 
In reiT?embrance of him, when they prepare for War, they fast six 
days and start on the seventh. If they take his bones with them, 
they have good fortune." 

« This war medicine is also mentioned by Hawkins. See p. 429. 


''After four years they left the Coosaws, and came to a river 
which they called NowphawpeJ now Callasi-hutche.^ There they 
tarried two j-ears; and, as they had no corn, they lived on roots and 
fishes, and made bows, pointing the arrows with beaver teeth and 
flint-stones, and for knives they used split canes. 

" They left this place, and came to a creek, called Wattoola-hawka- 
hutche,^ Whooping-creek, so called from the whooping of cranes, a 
great many being there; they slept there one night. They next came 
to a river, in which there was a waterfall; this they named the 
OwatunJca-river}° The next day they reached another river, which 
they called the Aphoosa pJieesl'aw.^'- 

" The following day they crossed it, and came to a high mountain, 
where were people who, they believed, were the same who made the 
white path. They, therefore, made wliite arrows and shot at them, to 
see if they were good people. But the people took their wliite arrows, 
painted them red, and shot them back. When they showed these 
to their chief, he said that it was not a good sign; if the arrows re- 
turned had been white, they could have gone there and brought 
food for their children, but as they were red they must not go. 
Nevertheless, some of them went to see what sort of people they 
were; and found their houses deserted. They also saw a trail which 
led into the river; and, as they could not see the trail on the opposite 
bank, they believed that the people had gone into the river, and 
would not again come forth. 

"At that place is a mountain, called Moterell, which makes a noise 
like beating on a drum; and they think this people live there. They 
hear this noise on all sides when they go to war. 

"They went along the river, till they came to a waterfall, where 
they saw great rocks, and on the rocks were bows lying; and they 
believed the people who made the white path had been there. 

" They always have, on their journeys, two scouts who go before 
the main body. These scouts ascended a high mountain and saw a 
town. They shot white arrows into the town; but the people of the 
town shot back red arrows. Then the Cussitaws became angry, and 
determined to attack the town, and each one have a house when it 
was captured. 

"They threw stones into the river until they could cross it, and 
took the town (the people had flattened heads), and killed all but 
two persons. In pursuing these they found a white dog, which they 
slew. They foUowed the two who escaped, until they came again to 
the white path, and saw the smoke of a town, and thought that tliis 

' See Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 245. 

* A misprint for Tallasi-hutche. 

• Watula. sandhill crane; haki, sound, noise; haichee^ creek, river, 
10 Owatamka River. 

" CI. afuawa, thread; feskeii, to sprinkle, scatter out. 


must bo the people they had so long been seeking. This is the place 
whore now the tribe of Palachucolas live, from whom Tomochichi 
is doscended.'^ 

''The Cussitaws continued bloody-minded; but the Palachucolas 
gave them black drink, as a sign of friendship, and said to them: 
'Our hearts are white, and yours must be white, and you must lay 
down the bloody tomahawk, and show your bodies as a proof that 
they shall be white.' Nevertheless, they were for the tomahawk; 
but the Palachucolas got it by persuasion, and buried it under their 
beds. The Palachucolas likewise" gave them white feathers, and 
asked to have a chief in common. Since then they have always lived 

"Some settled on one side of the river, some on the other. Those 
on one side are called Cussetaws, those on the other, Cowetas; yet 
they are one people, and the principal towns of the Upper and Lower 
Creeks. Nevertheless, as the Cussetaws first saw the red smoke and 
the red fire, and make bloody towns, they cannot yet leave their red 
hearts, which are, however, white on one side and red on the other. 
They now know that the white path was the best for them: for, 
although Tomochichi was a stranger, they see he has done them 
good ; because he went to see the great King with Esquire Oglethorpe, 
and hear his talk, and had related it to them, and they had Ustened 
to it, and believed it."'^ 

Doctor Gatschet has aheady discussed the Kasihta line of migra- 
tion as unfolded by Chekilli in the above narrative." I will merely 
review it briefly. The muddy river spoken of early in the narrative 
might well have been the Mississippi, for "Muddy River" was a 
name given to it by the Ci-eeks. If this is so, however, the red river 
which they afterwards reached could not have been the Red River of 
Louisiana. In later versions of the legend the origin of the Creeks 
is traced to the historical Red River, and perhaps this may be the 
result of an attempt to locahze the red river of the Chekilli legend. 
The fu-st place to which a name is given is " Coloose-hutche, " but 
the interpretation contained in the text, "because it was rocky there 
and smoked," is not traceable to any known Muskhogean tongue. 
"Hutche" is of course the Ci'eek hatci, "river," but the balance of 
the word has a striking resemblance to a common abbreviation of the 
Choctaw Oka lusa, "Black Water." For this reason Brinton has 
suggested that the name referred to the Black Warrior River of 
western Alabama, though the Black Creek of Walker and Winston 
Counties, a ti'ibutary of the Black Warrior, would correspond more 

" Tomochichi was chief of the Yamacraw tribe, settled where Savannah now stands when Oglethorpe 
established his colony. See Bull. 73. Bur. .\mer. Ethn., pp. 108-109. 

" Oatschet in Trans. St. Louis Acad. Sci.. vol. v, pp. 41-51. An earlier translation had appeared in 
Brinton's Lib. Aborig. Lit., vol. iv, pp. 244-251. 

" Trans. St. Louis Acad. Sci., vol. v, pp. 93-103. 


closely provided the former name has an Indian origin. With 
this name should probably be correlated that of the "Calu^a" 
tribe mentioned by Ranjel. Biedma and Elvas speak of a Calu<? or 
Calupa province, but this was west of the Mississippi and evidently 
had nothing to do with the one to which Ranjel refers, though the 
chroniclers themselves may have confused the two. The latter was 
in the neighborhood of the Chickasaw, and the Chickasaw chief 
gave the Spaniards gmdes to take them thither. It was said to be 
"a place of much repute among the Indians," and was described as 
"a province of more than 90 villages not subject to any one, with a 
savage population, very warlike and much dreaded, and the soil is 
fertile in that section." Unfortimately we have no intimation as to 
the direction in which it lay with reference to the Chickasaw. I 
believe that the tribe mentioned in these terms was identical with a 
comparatively insignificant body of Indians of ,the same name found 
by the French Louisiana colonists of 1699 and after, westward of the 
lower Mississippi and described by Du Pratz.^^ They were associated 
with the Houma Indians, who were a branch of the Chakchiuma, 
Ranjel's Sacchuma.'" Both were in the same general region in De 
Soto's time. 

The next point reached by the Kasihta was "Coosaw," evidently 
the old Coosa town on the river which stiU bears its name, between 
Talladega and Tallahassee Hatchee creeks. Afterwards they came 
to a river called "Nawphawpe, now called Callasi-hu tehee." Gat- 
schet rightly identifies this with a creek known as Naufawpi which 
runs into Uphapee Creek, an eastern affluent of the TaUapoosa, but he 
fails to notice that "Callasi-hutchee" is evidently a misreading of 
"TaUasi-hu tehee" ("Tulsa Creek"), this region having been occupied 
by the Tulsa Indians. "Wattoola-hawka-hutche," "Whooping 
Creek," is a small northern affluent of Big Uchee; a larger one farther 
east is still called Wetumpka; and "Aphoosa pheeskaw" must have 
been a small creek between Wetumpka Creek and the Chattahoochee. 
The next river encountered, although unnamed, was evidently the 
Chattahoochee itself, and the Creeks foUowed this down to the falls 
at Columbus. Near the latter place they are supposed to have 
crossed and destroyed a town occupied by people who flattened their 
heads. Afterwards they went on down to the place below the falls 
where the Apalachicola were living in the year in which this speech 
was delivered, 1735, and they made peace and formed an aUiance 
with the Apalachicola tribe. 

The astonishing thing about this entire narrative is the closeness 
with which the movement can be followed. As we know positively 
that the Kasihta had then been in the country over 200 years we must 
either suppose that the line of migration had been relocalized by later 

" See Swanton, Ind. Tribes of Lower Miss. Valley, Bull. 43, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 302 and 365. 
" Ranjel in Bourne's Narr. of De Soto, vol. n, p. 132. 


story tellers or that the Creeks were able to record historical events 
in some relatively permanent manner. The first would at the outset 
appear the more probable explanation, but we know from several 
soiu'cos that these tribes had mnemonic devices similar to quipus, and 
it is therefore possible that the movement took place along the line 
laid out. Certainly this earliest narrative localizes much more closely 
than any of the legends recorded later. Gatschet missed much of 
its value by thinking of the Kasihta and Coweta as two among 40 
or 50 coordinate bodies, while in fact Kasihta and Coweta repre- 
sented, in early times, the entire Muskogee element among the 
Lower Creeks, and the Abihka and Coosa the bodies of Muskogee 
from which most of the Upper Creeks originated.'' This legend 
therefore involves the origin of the greater part of the Muskogee 

Adair speaks sever^il times of Indian traditions of a western origin, 
but usually he has in mind the Chickasaw. However, he says in one 
place that the Muskogee "believe their original predecessors came 
from the west, and resided under ground," '* and by "predecessors" 
here he evidently intends ancestors. 

Another long version of the legend is contained in a work by Gen. 
Milfort,'* who claims to have lived among the Creeks from 1776 to 
1796, and to have been made "tastanegy on grand Chef de guerre de 
la nation Creek." ^^ We know that there was no such position as 
"grand war chief of the Creek nation," every town having had its own 
tastanagis and its head tastanagi. Still, under McGillivray, with 
whom MUfort claims to have been associated, a kind of despotism 
existed under which a friend of the Creek leader might have been ad- 
vanced to considerable power. Though MUfort's work is written in 
an intensely egotistical vein and contains numerous exaggerations and 
misstatements it is evidently founded on fact. The migration legend 
which it reproduces is probably correct in fundamentals, but Milfort 
has identified rivers and other geographical features in such a reckless 
manner that he carries the Creeks over a large part of the central 
United States and into places where the nation was scarcely known 
even by name. The legend is probably a form of the version current 
at Otciapofa, McGillivray's home town, and has especial interest 
for that reason. It is as follows: 

"When the Spaniards conquered Mexico everyone knows that this 
fair country of North America was inhabited by a gentle and peace- 
able people which, having no knowledge of firearms, was easily 
subjugated. It had only courage and numbers to oppose to the 
murderous arms of its enemies; in a word, it was defenceless; for 

" See Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 215-254. 
i» Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 268. 

■• M6moire ou Coup-d'Oeil Rapide sur mes differfns voyages et mon sfjour dans la nation CrPck. 
Paris, l'<02. 
"o On the title page of MUfort's work. 


what availed a bow and arrows against the artillery of an army, 
feeble in numbers indeed but warlike, intrepid, and led on by an 
insatiable thirst for gold, which this too trusting people had been 
unfortunate enough to display to their eyes. 

" Montezuma reigned then iu Mexico; seeing that it was impossible 
to arrest the progress of the Spaniards, he called to his assistance the 
peoples which were neighbors to his states. The nation of the 
Moskoquis, known now under the name of Creeks, who formed a 
separate republic in the northwestern part of Mexico, and who had 
numerous warriors, offered him assistance, formidable for any 
enemy other than a disciplined army, such as that of the Spaniards 
commanded by Fernan-Cortez. 

"The courage of this warlike people resulted, then, only in its 
more prompt destruction, and was not able to save Montezuma, who 
lost his hfe and his empire, which was almost entirely depopulated. 
After the death of Montezuma and many other chiefs, the Moskoquis, 
considerably weakened by this terrible war, which they were no 
longer in a condition to maintain, determined to abandon a country 
which offered them in exchange for their past happiness only the 
most terrible slavery, to search for one which would secure to them 
the abundance and peace of which the Spaniards had just deprived 

"They directed their march toward the north, and ascended in 
fifteen days as far as the source of Red River, that is to say a chstance 
of about a hundred leagues. This river throws its waters into the 
northern part of America, across immense praii-ies, a fact wliich fLxed 
their determination to follow its course. They traveled therefore 
eight days in this direction through a plain brilliant with the most 
beautiful flowers, and covered with wild animals, which offered them 
all the resources necessary for then* existence. This country would 
have attracted them to settle in it for all time on account of its 
richness in every respect; but, fearing still for their safety, in a 
couutiy which did not offer them any natural defense, they con- 
tinued their journey. In the chfEerent excursions which they made 
along this river, they did not discover any other, not even a stream 
joining it; but they often found lakes and ponds, many of which 
had salt water; these were generally covered with aquatic birds of 
all kinds, notably such as are met along the shore of the ocean. The 
prairies were ahve wath partridges, hares, rabbits, turkeys, and 
other animals. There are such great quantities of this sort of game 
in these countries, that, when it is pureued from different points at 
the same time, and is forced to flee, the air is obscured and the land 
covered with it. 

82517°— 28 4 


'"After having traveled thus for many days they found some groves 
where they made a halt. The young warriors were sent in different 
directions by the old men to examine the face of the country. At 
the end of a month they returned announcing that they had discov- 
ered a forest, on the edges of which, and at the same time along 
Red River, were fine subterranean dwellings. The entire nation 
set out; and, when they arrived near these caves, they discovered 
that they had been dug by bison, or wild oxen, and other animals 
who inhabited them because the earth there was a little salty. 

" The Moskoquis found in this country the peace and quiet which 
they needed in order to repair the considerable losses which they 
had suffered in the Mexican wars. The colony having brought 
along a little corn which was left to it, it was planted immediately 
in order to assure them a means of subsistence. As they lacked the 
necessary utensils with which to make a settlement they made use 
of sharp stones, instead of axes, to cut and sharpen sticks of wood 
which they afterward hardened in the fire and used in cultivating the 

"When the Moskoquis had thus performed the fii'st labors con- 
nected vdth their new settlement, they marked out a field, as large as 
was necessary for the common needs of the colony, and they sur- 
rounded it with old pieces of wood and stakes planted in the earth, 
in order to guard against the incursions of bison and other wild 
animals, which are very fond of corn. They then allotted to the 
families the ground contained in this enclosure, and sowed it for their 
sustenance. The young people of both sexes worked the ground 
together while the old men smoked their pipes. In this manner 
they lived for many years, enjoying perfect tranquillity, living by 
hunting and fishing, and on the products of their land, and regretting 
httle their separation from the country where they had suffered so 
much. They would no doubt have remained there permanently 
if the unhappy fortune which seemed to pursue them had not 
compelled them to undertake a second emigration. 

"They were discovered by the Albamos or Alibamons, who killed 
many of their people. Then the old men, the natural chiefs of the 
nation, called together the young warriors, and sent them on the trail 
of the murderers, but without success, because there was no unity 
in their operations, and they lacked a common chief; they then felt 
the necessity of selecting one. The old men of the nation assembled 
and chose the one among them who had rendered the greatest serv- 
ices to the fatherland, and they named him their Tastan6gy or grand 
war chief. . . . 

"The Moskoquis are very warlike and are not cast down by 
defeat; the day after an unsuccessful battle, they march to meet the 
enemy as courageously as before. It was after this arrangement that 
they resolved to continue their coimse toward the northwest. After 


having marched in this direction for some time, and crossed immense 
phiins, they stopped in a little forest on the hanks of the Missouri. 
There they encountered the Alibamons, whom they had pursued for 
a long time. They made preparations for the combat. The Tas- 
tan^gv- or great war chief, arranged the march in the following order: 
The familj' of the Wind, from which he had been chosen, crossed the 
river in the first line; it was followed by the family of the Bear, and 
then by that of the Tiger [Panther], and so on. Wlien this river was 
crossed, as the entire nation was on the march, it was necessary to 
take measures to avoid a surprise on the part of the enemy; and, in 
case of an encounter with the enemy, to protect all those who were 
unable to hght. For this purpose, the young people, with their war 
chiefs, formed the van; the old men the rear guard; those of an age 
less advanced were on the flanks; the women and the children in the 
center. They marched in this order until the moment when they 
encountered the enemy. Then the young men advanced alone with 
their Tastanegy at their head, and left the main body of the nation 
in a place of safety, and under the protection of the old men. By a 
stealthy and well planned march they surprised their enemy, and 
reached the caves which the Alibamons inhabited, before the latter 
were warned; and, not allowing them time to rally, they made a great 
slaughter. The fright into which such a surprise threw the foe 
caused them to abandon their dwellings; they fled along the Missouri, 
and rallied on the banks of this river, while the Moskoquis were gone 
to rejoin their countrymen, in order to march again on the traU of the 
enemy. The Alibamons, fearing a new surprise, had made their old 
men, women, and children march in advance, the young warriors 
forming the rear-guard; then they continued for sorhe time to de- 
scend this river on its right bank. The Moskoquis, following their 
trail, caught up with them, and defeated them many times. The 
Alibamons, seeing they were thus pursued, had made the body of 
their nation pass over to the left bank of the Missouri, and had given 
them time to get some distance in advance, b}" delaying the march 
of the enemy by various skirmishes. But, fearing that they would 
be unable to resist their attacks, they took advantage of the darkness 
one night to rejoin their fathers, the Moskoquis not observing them. 
The latter not finding any enemy when day came and suspecting the 
course they had taken, crossed the river in order to pursue them 
again. After a march of some days they again encountered them, 
and forced them to accept a general battle in which the Alibamons 
were defeated and fled to the banks of the Mississippi. The Mosko- 
quis, pursuing them with fury, forced them to throw themselves into 
the river, where a very great number perished. The young Moskoqui 
warriors, having thus weakened their enemy considerably, ceased to 
pursue them until they had been rejoined by the body of the nation, 


which followed by short stages. They remained eight days on the 
bank of this river in order to rest. 

'' During all this time the Alibamons had marched rapidly and 
gotten far in advance. The Moskoquis, trying to catch them, buried 
themselves in an immense forest which is on the left bank of the 
Mississippi; they camped, but, as there appeared to be no advantage 
in establisliing themselves there, the old men decided to continue 
the march, and, for this purpose, to send the young warriors in pursuit 
of the enemy. They marched many days without meeting them ; but 
at length, having discovered their tracks, they returned to report to 
the council of old men who decided that they would go in pursuit. 
They advanced again ; and, after a march of some days, they came to 
the river Ohio, which the French call Belle-Riviere. They went up 
along the banks near the Wabash; and, perceiving that the Aliba- 
mons had crossed the Ohio, they also crossed it. When they were on 
the other side, finding a region with a very beautiful climate, and very 
rich in all kinds of game, they determined to establish themselves 
there, and fixed their dwelling in what is known as the Yazau country. 
As the season was much advanced, they ceased their pursuit, and con- 
tented themselves with sending some young warriors to try to discover 
the route which the Alibamons had taken. The Moskoquis, profiting 
by some caves which they found and some which they made, took 
possession of the Yazau lands, where they passed many years, and 
where the caves which they excavated exist to this day. 

"The Alibamons had advanced as far as the banks of the river 
Coussa; not seeing themselves pursued, and finding themselves in a 
fertile country, they stopped there ; but as they were always in fear 
of some surprise they sent youths to find out what had become of the 
Moskoquis and whether they were still pursuing them. Although the 
war wliich the Moskoquis waged at this time on the Alibamons had 
originated in an aggression on the part of the latter, who had killed 
Moskoqui warriors, the youtlis who had been sent to discover the 
Moskoqui had the imprudence to kill the first whom they met. The 
old men, having been informed of this new aggression, had them 
march against the Alibamons. The Moskoqui warriors, having 
learned that the country which their enemy inhabited was toward the 
rising sun, in a region where the rigors of winter are little felt, and 
where a great c^uantity of game of all kinds is to be found, resolved 
to pursue them a third time, and to populate that country, which is 
between the two Floridas. With this object in view they crossed the 
river Cumberland and the Tennessee,^'''' and foUowed from the north 
the river Coussa, on the banks of which the remains of the Alibamons 
had established themselves. The latter, having learned of the march 

1''' It is, of course, nonsense to speak of crossing the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers in going from the 
Yazoo country to the Coosa. 


of the Moskoquis, did not think it well to await them; they aban- 
doned their position and scattered. Some went to seek an asylum 
among the Tchactas, and the rest repaired to Mobile, under the pro- 
tection of the French, who had then just taken possession. 

" The Moskoquis, no longer finding enemies to fight, took peaceful 
possession of the country which they had just conquered. They 
established themselves on the rivers Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chattahoochee, 
Flint, Ocmulgee, little and great Oconee and Ocjechee, and pushed their 
settlements as far as the river Savannah in Georgia, where the city 
of Augusta is now built. 

"After having taken possession of this immense territory in this 
manner and having established their settlements, the youths were 
sent as far as Mobile in pursuit of the Alibamons; but, as they had 
placed themselves under the protection of the French, the French 
commandant endeavored to obtain peace for the Alibamons from the 
chiefs of the Moskoqui warriors. The chiefs of the Moskoqui warriors, 
not wishing to take it upon themselves to make a treaty without the 
consent of their nation, referred the matter to the decision of the 
council of old men; and, while awaiting this decision, they consented 
to a susjjension of hostilities, promising not to kill any Alibamon be- 
fore they had received the reply of their council, to which they even 
promised to recommend their enemies, on the express condition that 
the Alibamons, on theu* side, would equally respect the Moskoquis, 
and would avoid as much as possible frecjuenting the hunting grounds 
where they must pass the winter, marking out for both separate 
territories. This truce lasted six months, at the end of which time 
the old Moskoqui men went down to Mobile with their warriors; 
and, not only was peace made between the two nations, in presence 
of the French commandant, but the Moskocjuis also agreed to unite 
the Alibamons with themselves; and, to induce them to do this, 
they gave them a piece of land on the river of Mobile, which is still 
called river of the Alibamons. The latter accepted the proposition, 
under the condition that they might preserve their customs and 
their usages. Then all of the separated portions were reunited and 
came to establish themselves on the river which has received their 
name, and form one little town which bears the name Coussehate;^'"' 
and, since this time, they have formed an integral part of the Mosko- 
qui nation, which took at this period the name of Creek nation. This 
name signifies source river, and is derived from the situation of the 
country which they inhabit, which, as has been shown above, is 
surrounded or cut by a great number of good sized rivers.^' 

"<' The Coussehati (Koasati) really constitute an independent tribe, though related, it ia_true, to the 
" For the real origin of this term see Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 215. 


"About tho same time an Indian tribe whicb had been almost 
destroyed by the Iroquois and the Ilurons came to ask for the pro- 
tection of the Moskoquis, whom I will now call (Veeks. The latter 
received them among themselves and assigned to them a territory 
in the center of the nation. They built a town which is now very 
considerable, which is named Tuket-Batchet from the name of the 
Indian tribe. The great assemblies of the Creek nation, of which 
it is an integral part, are sometimes held within its walls. The war- 
like reputation of -the Creeks, and knowledge of the good reception 
which they had given the Alibamons and the Indian tribe of which I 
have just spoken, rapidly spread among the other savage people 
of North America; and those among them who were too weak to 
resist the attacks of an enemy, came at once to beg for their help. 
The Tasquiguy and theOxiailles [Okchai], who had experienced from 
their neighbors the same fate as the Tuket-Batchet, having learned 
of the good ti'eatment which the latter had experienced from the 
Creeks, came to ask of them an asylum and protection. They were 
both received into the nation; lands were given them to cxdtivate, 
and they [the Tascjuiguy] established themselves at the junction of 
the rivers Coosa and Tallapoosa, where they made a village which 
still bears the name Tasquiguy. The Oxiailles went ten leagues to 
the north and established their dwelling in a beautiful plain on the 
banks of a little river; they formed a town there to which the}" also 
gave their name. 

"A short time afterward the remains of the little Udgi [Yuchi] 
nation, wliich had been partially destroyed by the English, also came 
to seek refuge among the Creeks, who assigned them lands on the 
banks of the river Chattahoochee. A part of the Chickasaw nation 
also came to seek refuge among the Creeks, who gave them lands on 
the river Yazau, at the head of the river of the Wolves [the Neshoba]. 
They built their settlements there, extending them as far as the 
mountains of the Cherokee, behind which runs the Tennessee River, 
whicli takes its rise in these mountains, near Tougoulou, back of 
South Carolina, at a short distance from the source of the Savannah 
in Georgia. 

"The immense extent of territory of which the Moskoquis, now 
Creeks, had taken possession after the flight of the Alibamons, pro- 
vided them with means of receiving in this manner all of the peoples 
who asked the favor of them, and giving them lands to clear. They 
thus augmented their reputation and their means of sustaining it. 

"iVl though the nations received by the Creeks became integral 
parts of them encounters took place in which they alone were con- 
cerned; but, in case of defeat, they were allowed to claim the pro- 
tection of the Creeks who aided them either by their arms, or their 
mediations . . ." 



[Here follows an account of the -Natchez and their incorporation 
into the Creek confederacy; it contains little new information. 
Milfort also speaks of the admission into the confederacy of the 
Seminole, whom he treats as having been originally Florida Indians 
and Apalachee.] 

"A short time after the American revolution, a part of the Savan- 
haugay nation, which inhabits the upper part of the river Savanha, 
which has taken the name of this nation, retired to the north to the 
banks of the Ohio, near Quintockey [Kentucky]; the other part 
retired among the Creeks, who gave them lands on the river Talla- 
poosa, near the Alibamons. This nation established itself there and 
has built a little town, and follows its own peculiar usages and habits, 
wliich differ much from those of the Creeks, a fact wliich does not 
prevent perfect agreement between them. Their interests are com- 
mon; they go hunting together, and on the same territory; in case 
of war their warriors march together, and obey the same grand chief. 
However, when a Savanhaugay marries a Creek woman, he is obliged 
to follow the laws, customs, and usages of the Creek nation ; which 
does not happen when a Creek marries a Savanhaugay woman. 

" The Creek nation, being thus augmented by a great number of 
emigrations from neighboring nations, has acquired a unity which 
makes it now very powerful and cap able of putting on foot a very 
strong and very warlike army. Finding itself the most powerful on the 
continent, it is that fact which regulates every year, in the grand 
council of the old men, the conduct which shall be pursued during 
the year, not only by the different nations of which I have spoken 
which compose it, but also that of the savage nations of almost all 
North America." " 

The narrative given by Swan is very much disordered and is 
worth little, the origin of the Seminole, for instance, being set down 
as antedating that of the Creeks. Perhaps this part of the story con- 
tains a reminiscence of an original occupancy of southern Georgia by 
the Creeks and their subsequent retirement to the Chattahoochee 
and even to the Tallapoosa. His account runs thus: 

'' Men of the best information and longest acquaintance with these 
Indians give the following account of the rise and progress of the 

" Tradition, handed down from one generation to another, has 
established a general belief among them (which may be true) , that a 
long time ago some strange, wandering clans of Indians from the 
northwest found their way down to the present country of the Semi- 
noles; there meeting with plenty of game, they settled themselves 
in the vicinity of the then powerful tribes of the Florida and Appa- 

" Milfort. Voy., pp. 229-284. The true circumstances involved in the incorporation in the Creek Con- 
federacy of the several tribes mentioned, so far as these are known, have been given in Bulletin 73, Bur. 
Amer. Ethn. 


hifhian Indians: that for some' time they remained on a friendly 
footing with each other. The new-comers were styled Seminolies 
(signifj-ing wandoroi-s, or lost men).'^" 

'■ These wanderers from tlie north increased, and at length became 
so powerful a body as to excite the jealousy of their Appalachian 
neighbors. Wars ensued, and finally the Seminolies became masters 
of the country. ' The remnants of the Appalachians were totally 
destroyed by the Creeks in 1719.' ^^ 

'■ In the process of time, the game of the country was found insuf- 
ficient to support their increasing numbers. Some clans and families 
emigrated northward, and took possession of the present district of 
the Cowetas; having established themselves there, other emigrations 
followed, and in time spread themselves eastward as far as the Oak- 
mulgee river, and other waters of Georgia and South Carolina, and 
westward as far as the Tallapoosee and Coosa rivers, which are the 
main branches of the Alabama. Here they were encountered by the 
Alabama nation, whom they afterwards conquered; and by restoring 
to them their lands and river, gained their attachment, and they were 
incorporated with the Creek nation. The Creeks became famous for 
their abilities and warlike powers; and being possessed of a well 
watered country, were distinguished from their ancestors (the Semi- 
nolies of the low barren country) by the name of Creeks or Muscogies. 

"The kind soil, pure water, and air of their country being favorable 
to their constitutions as warriors, has perhaps contributed to give 
them a character superior to most of the nations that sxirround them. 

' ' Their numbers have increased faster by the acc^uisition of foreign 
subjects than by the increase of the original stock. It appears long to 
have been a maxim of their policy, to give equal liberty and protection 
to tribes conquered by themselves, as well as to those vanquished by 
others — although many individuals, taken in war, are slaves among 
them; and their children are called, of the slave race, and can not 
arrive to much honorary distinction in the country on that account.^'' 

"The Alabamas and Coosades are said to be the first who adopted 
the ceremonies and customs of tlie Creeks, and became part of the 
nation. The Natchez, or Sunset Indians, from the Mississippi, 
joined the Creeks about fifty years since, after being driven out of 
Louisiana, and added considerably to their confederate body. And 
now the Shawanese, called by them Sawanes, are joining them in large 
numbers every year, having already four towns on the Tallapoosee 
river, that contain near 300 war men, and more are soon expected."^' 

"a Properly people who camp at a distance from the large settled towns. 

" Probably Swan's informants had in mind the dispersion of the Apalachee by Moore in 1704. By 
referring to Bulletin 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 109-129, it will be seen that the destruction was by no means 

2* There appears to have been little truth in this statement. 

=' Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 259-260. 



In his paper in volume 3 of the Transactions of the American 
Ethnological Society William Bartram states that the Creek nation 
in his time consisted of about 60 towns, "thirty of which speak the 
Muscogulge tongue, and are the progeny or descendants of a powerful 
band of a nation bearing that name, who, many years since (on their 
nation becoming verj- numerous, and filling their native country with 
inhabitants, by which the game and other necessary produce of their 
country became scarce and difficult to procure) were induced to sepa- 
rate themselves from, and go in search of, new and plentiful regions. 
They chrected their migrations eastward, leaving with great regret 
and difficulty their native land, containing their relations and friends, 
which was on the banks of a large and beautiful river, called the Red 
River, from great quantities of red stone, of which they formed their 
tobacco-pipes.^^ ° Their migrations continued a long time, and under 
great hardships and embarrassments, they being continually attacked 
by hostile Indian nations, till at length they arrived at the banks of 
the Great. River, i. e., that which they crossed, when they began to 
think of establishing a permanent residence; but, being yet assaulted 
and distiu-bed by surrounding nations, they pushed eastward as far 
as the Ockamulge.''^^ In the narrative of his travels Bartram covers 
the same ground in fewer words, and adds that "they were obliged 
to make a stand, and fortify themselves in this place [Ocmulgee], as 
their only remaining hope, being to the last degree persecuted and 
weakened by their surrounding foes. Having formed for themselves 
this retreat, and driven off the inliabitants by degrees, they recovered 
their spirits, ai\d again faced their enemies, when they came off 
victorious in a memorable and decisive battle. They afterward 
gradually subdued their surrounding enemies, strengthening them- 
selves by taking into the confederacy the vanquished tribes."^'' 

Nearer to the original is Hawkins's narrative obtained from 
Tussekiah Mic-co, evidently of the town of Kasihta : 

" There are in the forks of Red river, (We-cha-te-hat-che Au-fus- 
kee,)^* west of Mississippi, (We-o-coof-ke, muddy water,) two 

"« The Red Pipestone Quarry was in Minnesota and of course had nothing to do with the Red River 
of Louisiana. 

" Bartram in Trans. Am. Ethn. Sec., vol. in, p. 12. 

" Bartram, Travels, p. 53. 

« The Muskogee words used by Hawkins in this story and requiring explanation are the following: 
We-cha-te-hat-che A u-fus-kee (Wi tcati hatci akfaski, "water red river forks"). We-o-coot-ke (Wiogufki, 
"water muddy"). Hi-you-yul-gee (Hayuya -|- algi,see footnote 29). Tote-kit-cau (totka itka " fire place," 
"where the Are burns," the busk fire). E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see (Isagita immisi "breath its holder or 
keeper"). Mic-co-ho-yon-ejau (miko hoyanidja "chief purgative"). Auche-nau (atcina "cedar"). 
Too-loh (tola "sweet bay"). E-mau-h-ge-tuh (immaleigita "clan"). Noo-coose-ul-gee (Nokosi -f algi 
"Bears" or "Bear people"— i. e., "Bear clan"). Mic-ul-gee (Miko -|- algi "Chiefs"). Is-tau-nul-gee 
(Isfani + algi "Isfani (Spanish?) clan"). E-ne-hau-thluc-ul-gee (Heniha + lake -I- algi "Big Henihas"). 
Thiot-lo-ul-gee (Lalo + algi "Fishes," "FLsh clan"). Au-tus-sau (Atasa "war-club"). Te-po-lus-o 
(tipolukso). E-cau-haIpe (Ika halpi "head skin"). Itlo chate (Ito tcati "red stick," "red wood," "red 
tree"). Cha-chu-see (tcatcusi "my younger brother or brothers"). Chat-la-hau (tcal&ha "my elder 
brother or brothers"). Um-mau-mau-yuh (probably ama'mayi"my tall, high, or grown people"; the 
ceremonial name of Coweta was Coweta ma' mayi, "tall Coweta"— See Bull. 73, Bur. .\mer. Ethn., p. 
226). Tool-cau-bat-chee (Tukaba'tci). Au-Iic-chul-gee (aliktca -t- algi "doctors"). O-cheese-hat-che 
(Otcisi hatci " Otcisi River"— See Bull. 73, Bur. Araer. Ethn., p. 215). Chic-ke-tal-lo-fau-hat-che (Tciska 
taiofa hatci "Chiska-town River"— See Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 288). Sau-va-no-gee (Sawinoki). 
Tote-kit-cau bumgoce (totka + itka -|- bamkusi "square-ground fire one only"). 


mounds of earth. At this place, the Cussetuh, Cowetuh, and Chicka- 
saws found themselves. They were at a loss for fire. Here they 
were visited by the Hi-you-yul-gee,^* four men who came from the 
four corners of the world. One of these people asked the Indians, 
where they would have their fire, (tote-kit-cau) . They pointed to 
a place; it was made; and they sat down around it. The Hi-you- 
yul-gee directed, that they should pay particular attention to the 
fire, that it would preserve them and let E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see, 
(master of breath,) know their wants. One of these visitors took 
them and showed them the Pas-sau ; another showed them Mic-co-ho- 
yon-ejau, then the Auche-nau, (cedar,) and Too-loh, (sweet bay.) 
(There are one or two other plants, not recollected. Each of these 
seven plants was to belong to a particular tribe (E-mau-li-ge-tuh).) 
After this, the four visitors disappeared in a cloud, going from whence 
they came. 

''The three towns then appointed their rulers. The Cussetuhs 
chose the Noo-coose-ul-gee, (bear tribe,) to be their Mic-ul-gee, 
(mic-cos,) and the Is-tau-nul-gee, to be the E-ne-hau-thluc ul-gee, 
(people second in command.) The Cowetuhs chose the Thlot-lo-ul- 
gee, (fish tribe,) to be their Mic-ul-gee, (miccos.) 

"After these arrangements, some other Indians came from the 
west, met them, and had a great \\Testle wath the three to^Tis; they 
made ball sticks and played with them, with bows and arrows, and 
the war club, (Autus-sau.) They fell out, fought and killed each 
other. After this warring, the three towns moved ^astwardly, and 
they met the Au-be-cuh at Coosau river. Here they agreed to go 
to war for four years, against their first enemy; they made shields 
(te-po-lux-o) of Buffalo hides, and it was agreed that the warriors 
of each town, should dry and bring forward the scalps (E-cau halpe) 
of the enemy and pile them; the Aubecuh had a small pile, the 
Chickasaws were above them, the Cowetuhs above them, and the 
Cussetuhs above all. The two last towns raised the scalp pole, 
(Itlo chate, red wood,) and do not suffer any other town to raise it. 
Cussetuh is first in rank. 

"After this, they settled the rank of the four towns among them- 
selves. Cussetuh, called Au-be-cuh and Chickasaw cha-chu-see 
(younger brothers). The Cliickasaw and Aubecuhs, called C\issetula 
and Cowetuh, chat-la-hau (oldest brothers). Au-be-cuh, called the 
Chickasaw Um-mau-mau-yuh (elders, or people ahead of them). 
Chickasaws sometime use the same expression to Aubecuh. 

" This being done, they commenced their settlements on Coo-sau 
and Tal-la-poo-sau, and crossing the falls of Tallapoosa above 
Tool-cau-bat-che, they visited the Chat-to-hoche, and foimd a race 
of people with flat heads, in possession of the mounds in the Cussetuh 

w I have been told that Yahola and Hayuya were "very pure spirits" who presided over the annual 
ceremony or busk. Ui-you-yuJ-gee would be the plural of Hayuya. See p. 485. 


fields. These people used bows and arrows, with strings made of 
sinews. The great physic makers (Au-lic-chul-gee) sent some rats 
in the night time, which gnawed the strings, and in the morning, 
they attacked and defeated the flats. ^^ They crossed the river at the 
island, near the mound, and took possession of the country. After 
this they spread out eastwardly to 0-cheese-hat-che (Ocmulgee), 
Oconee, 0-ge-chee (How-ge-chuh) , Chic-ke-tal-lo-fau-hat-che (Savan- 
nah), called sometimes Sau-va-no-gee, the name for Shaw-a-nee. 
They met the white people on the seacoast, who drove them back to 
their present situation. 

" Cussetuli and Chickasaw consider themselves as people of one 
fire (tote-kit-cau humgoce) from the earliest account of their origin. 
Cussetuh appointed the first Micco for them [the Cliicaksaw], directed 
him to sit down in the big Savanna, where they are now, and govern 
them. Some of the Chickasaws straggled off and settled near Au- 
gusta, from whence they returned and sat down near Cussetuh, and 
thence back to their nation. Cussetuh and Chickasaw have remained 
friends ever since their first acquaintance. 

" During the late war between the Ci-eeks and Cliickasaws, Cusse- 
tuli refused her aid, and retained her long established friendship for 
the Chickasaws; and when the Creeks offered to make peace, their 
offers were rejected, till Cussetuli interposed their good offices. 
These had the desired effect, and produced peace." ^' 

We now know that those versions of the legend which represent the 
Muskogee as having come as far east as the Georgia coast from which 
they were pressed back by the whites have better foimdation in fact 
than was formerly supposed.^^ Bolton ^^ " has shown that the location 
of the great body of Creeks on Ocmulgee River prior to 1715 was 
ephemeral, but there can be no doubt that some Creek tribes were 
elements in the population of Guale on the Georgia coast.^^ * As we 
have seen, Swan brings the Creeks into Florida and Gallatin had 
obtained a similar legend, perhaps through Swan himself. 

" Their traditions say that they emigrated from the Northwest 
until they reached Florida, when they fell back to the country between 
the headwaters of the Alabama and Savannah Rivers . . . Those 

30 Most Muskogee traditions recognize that the country into which they came was already occupied. 
Besides references in several of the myths here given, a contributor to Schoolcraft's first volume states that 
the " Creeks believed the land they occupied was held before their coming by another people of whom 
they had no definite knowledge, but not by other people than Indians and not by a more civilized people." 
They conquered these earlier occupants and the latter "wended their way south." This authority difTers 
from many others in affirming that "the circular breastworks in their country they believed were built 
by themselves for protection." (Schoolcraft, Am. Inds., i, pp. 266-267.) Pope mentions a war waged by 
the Creeks with "a numerous Tribe of Seminoles, whom the Creeks after a long and bloody contest of 
20 years exterminated, and re-peopled the deserted villages by slow emigrations from their own victorious 
tribes." lie modestly places this event 10,000 years before his own time (Pope, Tour, p. 53). 

" Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. lu, pt. i, pp. 81-83. 

" See Bull. 73. Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 80-109. 

»' 11. E. Bolton, Spain's Title to Georgia, Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley, 1825, pp. 55-56. 

5" Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., loc. cit. 


remaining in Florida were called the Seminoles, or Isti-semole (wild 
men). The nation became a confederacy of tribes, speaking other 
languages, modifying somewhat the original Muskogee, but who, 
nevertheless, numbered seven-eighths of their whole nmnber."^' 

A few references to this legend appear in the American State Papers 
and in other publications, but, with one exception, they add little or 
nothing to it, their value bciug piu-ely confirmatory. The one ex- 
ception is the statement attributed by Gallatin, to " the chiefs of the 
delegation, who attended at Washmgton m the year 1S26," and who 
" agreed that the prevailing traditon amongst them was, that the na- 
tion had issued out of a cave near Alabama River." ^* Unless this 
was in reality the Alabama story '' instead of that of the true Musko- 
gee, it stands entirely by itself. 

Practically all of the older Creeks retain some belief in a western 
origin.^^ The place from wliich they came they call "the navel of 
the world," and it is now supposed to have been at Ikana hx'foni, 
"the backbone of the earth," a name they give to the Rocky Moun- 
tains. There is always mention of their having crossed waters, and 
of the course of their migration having been supernatiu-ally guided 
by means of a stick which they set up in the ground and wliich bent 
of itself in the direction they were to take. This stick is said to have 
been a ball stick, and it is often spoken of as red.^' One informant 
explained the color by saying that the pole was made of cedar. 
Jackson Lewis, one of my oldest and best informants, told a somewhat 
different story. According to him, when the Muskogee came out 
of the navel of the earth near the Rocky Mountains they had a red 
arrow which they shot a long distance in advance, marcliing in the 
direction of its flight untd they had reached it. They repeated this 
action every day imtU they foimd the arrow h"ing pointing backward. 
At that spot they halted and established their nation. 

Legus Ferryman, formerly interpreter for the Creek chief Pleasant 
Porter, and at one time chief of the Creeks himself, gave me the 
following versions of the migration legend, as told by the Tulsa and 
Coweta Indians, respectively: 

" The people who were afterward known as Coosa or Tulsa Indians 
traveled eastward toward the rising sun imtil they came to a big 
water too wide to cross. They went back from this to a certain 
place and lived there a long time. By and by they came to the same 
water again but here it was narrow. The other shore was well wooded 

" Gallatin, quoted in Ann. Rept. Smithson. Inst., 1885, part u, p. 211. 

" Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, U, p. 95. 

" For the Alabama origin myths see Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 191-192. 

^ Early in the nineteenth century, according to the American State Papers (Ind. AS., n, p. 571), four 
Creek chiefs denied that their people had come from the West and obtained their lands by conquest, but 
a misunderstanding is quite possible, and, besides, this testimony concerned their title to the lands of the 
old Creek Nation in Alabama and Georgia, a fact which they very well knew. 

" In the oldest legend, as we have seen, it is represented as a war club (see p. 35). 


and pleased them, and they wanted to get over to it. Their leader, 
however, said: "We ought to cross, but I am going to try an arrow.' 
If it landed on the other side he knew they could get over. He shot, 
therefore, and his arrow went into the woods. The people remained 
there until they had gotten together some boats and rafts on which 
they crossed in safety. Then they established themselves where they 
found quantities of game. After a wliile they began moving east 
again, and they did this at intervals, always in the same direction. 
At last they settled permanently, became very numerous, and estab- 
lished square grounds. 

''One night, a long time afterward, a dance was held at which all 
persons were present except a newly married couple who were in some 
manner delayed. When these arrived at the square, late at night, 
they found nothing there but a lake. They remained on the shores 
of the lake watching and noticed that the birds which tried to fly 
across fell in and were drowned. One big crane, however, flew aU 
the way over. It said 'koos, koos, koos,' and they thought that 
that was its name. As time went on this couple had children and 
their descendants formed another big town; and because the bird 
did fly over the submerged village in safety they named the town 
after it, saving ' We shall be called Coosas.' And in the town orations 
to-day their descendants, the people of Tulsa, begin by saying ' We 
are the Coosa people.' 

" The Coweta say that they came out from under the earth and 
found the surface soft and muddy, difficult to travel upon. By and 
by it became dry and hard. They were on the top of a mountain 
from which they could see the setting and the rising of the sun. 
Then they debated whether to go toward the sunset or the sunrise 
but finally they agreed to go toward the sunrise. So they traveled 
eastward slowly, stopping a long time where the himting was good 
and then going on again, imtil they came at last to a i-iver. This 
river was very muddy and so wide that they stayed on its banks 
longer than anywhere else, and there they inaugurated the ball 
play. At last they made boats and crossed. Then they traveled 
on again eastward until they came to the ocean ('big water'). 
They found that the water of the ocean would come up and go out 
again, enabling them to collect oysters and other things good to eat, 
and they stopped there and lived on those products, being unable 
to pass beyond. They claim that they traveled side by side with 
the Kasihta, and some add the Abihka, which some deny. The 
place from which they started they call Ilafoni, 'the backbone,' 
and they identify this with the Rocky Mountains." 

The following version of the migration legend was told by Ispa- 
hihtca, of the Kasihta town, a former chief of the Creek Nation," " 

"• Seep. 331. 


to James R. Gregory, by whom it was repeated to the writer in May, 

"Some people anciently lived together in the west. In course of 
time they became so evil that they could find nothing pure in the 
world except the sun, and they determined to travel eastward to 
find the place from whence it came. On the way they became 
separated into three bodies. The first of these were called Chicka- 
saw because on the morning when they were to set out they were 
the first to see the sun rise and said Tcika ha'sa [hitcika hasaj, 'See 
the sun!' The second body said to the first Kohasita,"* 'Where is 
the sun?' from which circumstance they received the name Kasihta. 
The Chickasaw moved first, the Kasihta following them, but the 
third body of people had some difRculty in passing around a brier 
thicket and were left a long distance behind, so that the parties in 
advance began to call them Ko-aoita, ' Those that are following 
us,' whence the name Coweta. 

" During their travels these tribes came to a great river which 
they crossed, and presently the Chickasaw entered upon a beautiful 
country where were small prairies abundantly supplied with straw- 
berries and other wild fruits and having deep pools of water. Then 
the Chickasaw did not want to go any farther and said that they 
did not care where the sun came from. So they settled in that 
country, while the remaining bands held on their course. By and 
by the Kasihta, who were still in advance, crossed a river smaller 
than the first. On the other side they raised a mound, leaving a 
great chamber in the center in which to fast and purify their bodies. 
They left their women, children, and other noncombatants there and 
went on toward the east. Afterward, the Coweta an-ived on the 
opposite side of the river and sent word over that they intended to 
cross and kill everyone in the place because the Kasihta warriors 
had not waited to have them join in the expedition. But among 
the Kasihta women was one who had a magic white stone or pebble, 
the mate to which was in the keeping of her husband among the 
warriors. By means of this stone she informed him of the serious 
state of affairs, and the Kasihta warriors immediately retraced their 
steps, cut switches, and, passing over to the Coweta warriors, whipped 
them severely. But they did not strike them with a weapon of war. 
They then told the Coweta to take charge of the mound, and, gather- 
ing together their own noncombatants, they went eastward once 

" After the Kasihta had left, the Coweta made medicine and went 
inside of the great mound in order to purify themselves, but while 
they were there a Cherokee war party attacked the camp. Great 
was their surprise, however, when the Coweta warriors poured up 

»t K6 is not the usual word meaning "where?" but is probably an exclamatoiy particle. 


from the bowels of the earth, and they were defeated with great 
slaughter. From this circumstance the Coweta town became the 
great war town of the Creek Nation. Then the Kasihta sent back 
for the Coweta but, without waiting for them to catch up, con- 
tinued in the same direction as before. Presently they reached a 
country populated by naked people who would attack them and then 
run off. The naked people did this repeatedly until they at length 
ran into a dense fog. The Kasihta followed them and, emerging 
on the other side, found themselves on the shore of the ocean from 
which the fog had arisen. Unable to go farther they camped where 
they were, and in the morning saw the sun rise out of the sea. 
They concluded that that was why it was so bright and pure. By 
and by the Coweta came up, and the two peoples agreed that the 
country from which they had started was so far off that they would 
not return to it. So they remained where they were, fought with 
the inhabitants of the land, and brought them under their own 
system of laws. 

"In course of time no people were left willing to resist them, and 
they longed for someone with whom to fight. Hereupon Coweta 
challenged Kasihta to a game of ball in order to obtain revenge for 
having been beaten with switches by the latter. The custom of 
having ball contests originated at this time and in this manner and 
has continued to the present day. Now arose the division between 
the war towns and the peace towns. The war towns have separated 
from the Coweta and the peace towns from the Kasihta, except in 
the cases of towns which have been brought in from outside. These 
have usually been brought in by the peace towns, and hence are 
generally white." 

A very much longer account, involving, in fact, a rough history 
of the Kasihta tribe from earliest times to the date when they 
made peace with the Cherokee, was, however, taken down by the 
late Albert S. Gatschet from the same native authority. It is pre- 
served in one of Doctor Gatschet's manuscript notebooks in the 
original Creek with interlinear translation, and, as nearly as I can 
determine, rims as follows: 

"It was in the beginning when people were first created. This 
is the history of the three tribes known as Kasihta, Chickasaw, and 
Coweta. Far off toward the west many people came out of the 
ground. And the Coweta were delayed by the root of a tree which 
stretched across their road. Then the Kasihta and Chickasaw towns 
came out of the earth' together. At that time the people were with- 
out clothing or fire. And they sewed together leaves of trees with 
which to cover themselves. And while they were there the Breath- 
holder (Hisa'kita immi'si) spoke to them and said: 'The earth 
which lies here is the foundation of all things.' And he said: 'The 


earth being created, the second thing is water, tlie third the trees and 
grass, and tho fourth the things having life.' Even down to the 
smallest things they were created. 

''.Vnd, continuing, he said: 'A last day will come.' That is 
what he said to him. Continuing, he said: 'Fire will destroy this 
world, and when it comes the dead people will arise out of the earth 
and fearful things that were existing witliin it will arise out of it. 
Everything -will gather together in the interior of the earth. At 
that time there will be no more death. 

" 'When that occurs I too will come.' he said. 'I shall come to 
seek those who have not killed anyone, and those who have not told 
a lie, people who are really humble, those who love people much, 
and persons who are unselfish, and persons who abase themselves. 
And when I take them up, "Take me up, too," the others will say, 
holding their hands up. Then those left on that day which is bright 
and hanging will be lost together.'^* 

' ■ And when he departed they stood still looking about, and when 
they saw the rising sun, they wanted to see the place from which 
it came, and they started thither. And while they were on the 
way, they considered, supposing the sun to be hot, how they si uld 
light a fire with it. Then they took a stick of wo'^d dried m the 
sun's heat and bored into it with another dry stick "" tc^ - at 
fire. Then they named the wood with which they hac con* Jce 
'the slimy wood' (afo's'lipa'kf a — the slippery elm). e war 

"Afterward they remained there four j-ears, fasting for e ^-^^i aays 
[each year?]. When the four years were completed, providing them- 
selves with the fire, they again set out toward [the sun]. And wlfile 
they were still traveling east the Chickasaw stopped saying, 'My 
moccasins are worn out, and I ^\-ill stop to mend them; even if you 
go on I will catch you.' 'All right,' he [Kasihta] said. He made a 
spring for him, by sticking his elbow down into the ground and turn- 
ing it around four times. Having made a big spring for him, he said 
'Stay here drinking this until you can go.' Then [the Kasihta] went 
away. But [the Chickasaw] settled there for good. 

'"Wlien they came to the end of the dark grass they continued to 
obtain things for themselves. 

"Whenever they stopped they remained there for four years; 
they marched with an advance guard moving about in front. \Vlien 
they saw the ocean and found that they could not go farther they 
stopped there. They rested by a large river. Then they learned that 
some people were living on the other side. They wanted to know 
what sort of people were living there and went near, when a fog 
covered them so that they were moving about in it and so stopped 

s* The material in the latter half of the first paragraph and in paragraphs 2 and 3 is, of course, from 
Christian sources. 


not able to see anything. Tliey discovered that the strangers had 
something which smelt very good and they wanted it, and they 
considered how they could get it. 

''While they were considering over it they made a long mound 
and another roimd mound. They said that this action would give 
them help. When they were ready they caused a wind to blow on 
the people covered with fog liA-ing there, and the fog was cleared 
away. Then they killed [part of the stranger people] and took many 
captive and exterminated that towm.^" They built a town there of 
then- own. Wliile doing tliis they were in the habit of sending out 
guards. They made the guards go out for one year, and when those 
returned [who had been away during the war] and foimd that [stran- 
ger] people had been killed, they said ' You did not save any for us,' 
and they wept in anger at having been deprived of the opportunity 
to kill. The two men were projected across the river, hanging to 
the ends of arrows, and going along the stream they trailed [their 
enemies]. Presently they found two persons lying asleep who had 
been throwing up the earth into mounds. They killed them there 
and by so doing -naped away theu' tears. Then the locality was 
named 'Shoveling place.' After four years [the Kasihta] left their 
^pOa»n and childi'en together in that place and set out to get scalps. 
Not anticipJ^'Hng any danger the men all started out. The women 
continued ''•' live there alone. Afterwards the Coweta people, 
following thSiT trail, came to the big river and camped on the nearer 
side. Then tJiey sent out scouts who reported that people were 
staying near^jy. Then they said 'We had better kill them,' and they 
said 'Watch them closely.' Watching them closely they discovered 
that only woiiten were in that place. Then they went near and spoke 
to them. And they said to them 'What has become of the males?' 
They answered 'They went away to war a long time ago. It is now 
nearly four years since they left.' And [the new comers] answered 
'They can not be alive.' But an old woman said 'The men are still 
alive.' Then they (the Coweta) said: 'Being an old woman she 
tells lies.' When it got dark that old woman put a stone into the 
fire, and when it was red all over she took it out and laid it down 
pointing in the direction in which the Kasihta had gone, and she 
stood upon it; and after she had stood there for a while she came 
back and said 'The men are alive.' Although she said so they did 
not believe her. And when they said 'She is lying' some of the 
women thought 'It is probably so,' and finally some married these 
men. The little old woman tried to dissuade them, and many obeyed 
her. iVfter a time she said 'Now the wamors are near,' but they 
did not believe her. 'Now they are close by,' she said, ' Fix your- 

» From a note these people would appear to have been considered Yuchi. 
82517°— 28 5 


selves. Comb yourselves.' She kept on encouraging the whole 
town. When the warriors had gotten near to the town she went 
out to their camp and said 'Things have been thus and so while 
we have been settled here,' and she informed them about all that 
had happened. But when p(>ople had been to war it was their custom 
not to enter the town on their retui'n too hurriedly. Therefore they 
waited some time to attend to [i. e., purify] themselves and then 
passed into the town. Then they held a council and said 'What 
shall we do with these men? If we kill them it \vill be of no benefit 
and they may be of use to us.' And wliile they were sitting in 
council they gathered the male Coweta together. Then they built 
a large fire and made them dance, pushing them down into the 
fire so that they jumped over it to escape. They did this for some 
time. They also took sticks and beat them on the front parts of 
their calves, and they cut off thens ears, and they made a law of 
this. 39-^ 

"Then they continued to play tricks on the Coweta by putting 
strings of dog excrement around their necks. They said 'It shall be 
our law that if a man cohabits with a married woman liis ears shall 
be cut off and also liis nose. And if a person is whipped inordinately 
and he dies the leader of the whipping party shall be killed. And 
if a man cohabits with a married woman in the middle of the summer 
at the time of the big harvest when the busk is over, and the ag- 
grieved party finds it out, if the man runs away and lives by himself 
for a whole year, in midsummer after the busks of all the towns are 
over, the man and the woman can not receive the penalty of the law.' 
Then they continued 'We have constructed a long mound and a 
round mound in order to protect ourselves. You must sit dowTi and 
watch them.' So the tall Coweta were told. They also made a 
chief for [the Coweta]. And they used for tliis purpose the Fish clan. 
'If you lose him by death you must consider for yourselves [how to 
replace him],' they were told. And there they made a tribe of 
the Coweta. Then they were told to live inside of the two mounds. 
And on top of these hoUow mounds they drank asi every morning. 
And when the asi was cooked a great pan of it was set out before 
them at daybreak every morning. Every morning when it was 
taken they set it away for them. They established themselves there 
permanently as a tribe. They told each other what they had been 
doing. Then the Kasihta put a question to the Coweta, and they 
answered: 'We came along the trail on which others had gone. 
We came because we wanted to see what they were doing.' And 
the people said 'since it came (awat) afterward the tribe shall be named 
Awita,' and it was so named. 

"• Having reference to the Creek laws against adulteiy; see pp. 346-354. ' 


"And, continuing, the Kasihta said 'We came out of the center 
of the earth.' The Coweta answered 'We came out at the same pLice 
but, the root of a tree extending in front of us, we emerged onl}- after 
a delay.' Then the}' learned that they had been created one people. 
And they said 'We shall have to return again the way we came, and 
when we reach the place of our creation we shall be annihilated.' 
The names of the two rivers near that town were Big River (Hatci 
Lako) and Confluent River (Hate Afa'ski). 

"There was a place for killing fish at that point; it was found out 
that it was a place to which fish would come. The Kasihta having 
found it broke off a pine limb and laid it upon a rock. And the 
Coweta found it afterward and broke off a black weed called ata'k 
la-lasti'°* and laid it down in the same place. Then the Coweta said 
'I have found a fish-killing place.' The Kasihta said 'I found it 
fu'st. I broke off a pine limb to mark it and laid it upon a rock.' 
And the Coweta said 'I, too, broke off a black weed and laid it there.' 
They wrangled with each other about it. Then they said to each 
other 'Let us examine the place.' And when they went to see the 
marks they found two lying there. When they had examined the 
matter they found two fish-killing places close together and one was 
abandoned to the Coweta. Near by was their own fish-killing place 
where they lived catcliing and eating fish. They continued there, 
beginning and carrying on things for their amusement. There they 
built their big house. ^^"^ They erected four structures which they 
called houses (tcuko). They placed one to the west, another across 
from this,^" another toward the south, another toward the east,"" and 
another toward the north. They made the length [of each?] eighty 
times the length of a person's foot and the breadth thirty times. 
And they made the measure of the arena between them eighty 
foo1>measures each way. The round big-house stood toward the 
west.**"* They constructed it with a pointed roof, and they covered 
it with pine bark stripped from the trees. They made only one door, 
looking toward the east. And they built a fire exactly in the middle 
so that when it was raining or snowing they could dance there. 
And in the one of the four houses which stood toward the west the 
miko of the tribe sat with his vice-chief (apokta). It was called the 
house of the mikos (mi'kalgi i'ntchuka). And those who sat in the 
house to the south were known as 'the owners of the wliite (ha'tki 
ipu'tcasi).' If the miko and vice-miko both died they appointed 
new ones. The one lying across toward the east was called the house 
of the women (hu'ktagi i'ntcuka). And that on the north side was 
called 'the house of the warriors' (tastanagalgi i'ntcuka). They 

8S6 This has yellow flowers which appear at the time of the fall hunt, 
"c The ceremonial square. 

« Probably by inadvertence the eastern structure is mentioned twice. 
"» The tcokofa or town "hot house." 


woro their war talkers (iiihulupima'ya). vVnd behind tlie house, 
lying toward the south, they had what they called the tadjo. It 
was round; a ridge of earth was about its edge; and in the middle 
their ball post was erected. It was a source of amusement, and 
when it became dark they danced there through the night. The 
women danced with them.*"'' 

''And in the middle of summer at the time of the big harvest they 
met together at what was called the poskita, and they had what was 
called the 'big feast' on one day, when they went about eating until 
evening. The day after that they fasted, took medicine, and vomited 
it up, and they sat there until evening as moving about was prohibited. 
They remained there without sleeping until morning. And when 
they had sat through until the eighth morning, fire produced by 
boring with a stick was taken to each house. 

"After that they considered what amusements they could insti- 
tute. On the evening of the day of the 'aU-day eating (hil'mpi 
isya'fkita),' they danced what was called the gun dance (taputcka- 
obanga). And if one had been treated by doctors he went to this 
dance with his body naked, the bullet wound painted red, and on 
his back the pay of the doctor, a back load. 

" The next morning they kindled a fire by boring with a stick of 
'slimy switch' (afo'slipakfa — the slippery elm), drank medicine 
whicli had been compounded there, and fasted; and they remained 
there fasting ceremonially, not eating any kind of food. And they 
were prohibited from eating meat, salt, and honey, and from touch- 
ing women and children. When four days were passed they danced 
different kinds of dances. At noon they had the women dance by 
themselves the shooting dance *'" (its obanga) , and afterward the men 
by themselves danced the long dance (oba'nga tca'pko). The men 
and women together danced the old bufl'alo dance (yana's' atcu'li) 
holding sticks. The women also danced what was called the old 
dance (obanga atculi) with turtle-sheU rattles tied to their legs. 
After dark the men and women danced [again and they kept it up] 
imtil morning. Then they went to their homes.*"'' 

"[Following the dances] they played what they called 'Shooting 
the ball' (puk' i'tcita), holding two bent ball sticks with which 
they caught and threw the ball. And if they were gomg to bet, if 
two towns had dared provoke each other, they advanced to the 
meeting place, and when they got near they made a camp and stayed 
there untU dark. [On each side] two men, one holding a drum, 
another a rattle, sat singing for them, the women standing behind 
them and dancing. Then the men kindled a fire and marched aroimd 
it whooping and praising themselves continually. From time to 

"' See pp. 174-190 for descriptions of the ceremonial grounds. 

"• Probably a mistaken translation. See p. 609. 

*"'' For descriptions of the poskita or busk, see pp. 546-614. 


time they stopped and the fourth time they retired and slept until 
daybreak. Then they went up to each other, undressed, and met. 
They wagered such things as horses, money, coats, handkerchiefs. 
The distance between them in either du'ection was two himdred 
yards. The sticks of the ball posts were planted in the ground side 
by side. Then the ball was thrown up, they ran after it, and they 
%VTestled if they wished. They stood up twenty counting sticks 
against each other and whichever side first made twenty points won 
the game. They tlu-ew the ball between the posts which had been 
planted on each side. Afterward those who had won the wagers 
went off, taking them along.*"' 

" The Muskogee, Cherokee, Choctaw, Nokfila, Yamasee, Natchez, 
and people like them continued their mutual enmity. For some 
time they kept on Idlling one another. And one tribe, the Nokfila,*^ 
was lost. The tribe was in part Idlled out and in part enslaved. 

"The Yamasee were good people. They did not want to fight, 
but, being harassed, they walked deep into the water very humbly, 
singing pi'etty songs, and so that tribe was lost.*^ The old people 
said that this happened because it was in the thought of God that it 
should be so. 

"Wliile that was taking place the mutual killing went on. And 
since it had to cease, finally it did cease. The peace that was first 
made came about in this wise. 

" There was a man of the Kasihta tribe known as Good-child 
Chief, celebrated for his abdity and praised on account of the awe 
which he inspired. His ears were split and his body marked with 
tattooings [of his war honors]. At intervals he would kill Cherokee, 
strip off their scalps, and carry them home. Upon one occasion he 
went out as usual to kUl people and reached the land of the Cherokee. 
There he saw human footprints. Observing that they were fresh 
he followed them. And then he saw a deer having widely branching 
horns and he shot at it. Afterward it ran on and was lost in the 
distance. Then he thought 'It would be better to kill peofle,' and 
he went foi-ward. He followed a stream until he came to a foot log 
lying across it. Then, seeing that the human tracks by it were fresh, 
he thought 'I wiU kill [the people] when they cross upon that log.' 
He saw a bush covered with leaves near the water, its branches 
reaching toward him, and, thinking 'I will hide in there and when 
they cross over I wiU kill them,' he sat doMoi behind it. 

" The people came, he saw them cross, and he pointed liis gun at 
them but put it down again and they passed on leaving him sitting 
in the same place. Then it happened that he heard someone on 

*>• See pD 456-466 for a description of the ball game. 

" " Nokfila " is also given as an old Muskogee designation of the white people. 

*2 The character of this warlike tribe is here entirely misrepresented, and solely because in Muskogee 
Kimisi is the word meaning "gentle." 


top of the bluff scolding ut a dog in liis own language. He became 
interested and went out. Presently he saw a Muskogee family 
sitting [by their dwelling] talking. When he got to the place he 
saw a gi'cat camp extending to the creek. The person to whom he 
went said 'Sit down' and he sat down. Then the Cherokee sur- 
rounded liim and he sat still unable to do anything. They said to 
him 'What do you want*' and ho answered 'I am here because I was 
directed to go and see the Cherokee chief. They said to me " When 
you reach Ikan tapiksi (Level land), anywhere in that country you 
can obtain an interpreter." ' Then the Cherokee said 'The chief 
is living at a distance, but he will arrive four days after having been 
sent for.' Then he remained there as a prisoner. 

" It was a custom of the Cherokee to send out scouts and as soon 
as they had come home ask each of them what he had learned con- 
cerning their enemies. They did so at this time, and he sat listening 
to them. And when the returning scouts had all gotten tlu'ough they 
thought that nothing was the matter. While he was sitting there 
the returning scouts were aU examined as to whether they had seen 
anything that might give concern to the town, and they finished. 
Then they examined them again saying 'Did you hear a shot fired?' 
and one said 'I heard one.' And each of the Clierokee said in turn 
'I have not fii-ed a gim.' Then they said to Good-child Chief who 
was sitting near ' Did you shoot?' 

"He answered 'I did.' 'At what did you shoot?' they asked him. 
'I shot at a deer' said he. 'Did you shoot near by?' they asked. 
' I shot at him very near' he said, ' and I thought I hit him but I came 
here instead of going to see.' Then they said 'Let us go and see 
where you did this,' and they took him along. Presently he said 'I 
shot it here and it went on and died without going very far away.' 
Then they tried to find it and did so, and they brought it back. 
'He has spoken the truth' they thought, and they watched him 
closely during the four days. At intervals the young men of the 
Cherokee came in whooping saying that the chief of the Cherokee 
was coming. On the fourth day he came and they prepared very 
large round sticks of wood. When all were in the house Good-child 
Chief and his interpreter were called in. Then his interpreter said 
to liim ' Wliere the Cherokee are assembled to observe their customs 
sit stOl without paying any attention to them.' Then they said 
'It (the council) is ready.' So the two went up and sat down. 
What the interpreter had said about the way they exercised their 
law was going to be carried out. One man danced the whooping 
dance holding the ax with which people were killed. He struck the 
ax into the gi-ound between [the prisoner's] feet. After he had done 
this for a considerable time he twisted his breechclout to one side 
and pushed his buttocks toward the stranger's face. Although 


Good-child Chief did not like this he could not resent it and remained 
seated. After the man had danced around for a wlule he stopped 
antl sat down. 

" Then they gave Good-child Chief permission to speak. ' Let him 
make kno-\\ni what he wants ' they said. Then he said : ' Brothers, we 
have caused each other suffering for a long time. I was told to come 
and see the Cherokee chief.' [My people] said 'While our mother 
is the same and our father is the same we jiunish each other, and it 
has come to such a pass that even our children are inspired with terror. 
Hereafter it shall not be so. The white path shall extend from our 
doors,' my peojile said. ' Even if red is on that path we shall not think 
it is human blood,' they said, 'and even if we find blood near streams 
we shall not think it is human blood. We shall think thus. We 
shall think it is the blood of the many tilings that are to be fomid 
in the water,' they said. 'And afterward, if we find on the white 
paths that converge to our doors the blood of anything sticking, 
we shall suppose it is the blood of the many four-footed game animals 
that have it,' they said. 'And after this, if he (a former enemy) 
shakes hands with me he must smoke of my tobacco. If I shall 
see a cloud arising and hanging' in the air, we will think, 'He is 
shaking hands with me,' they said. Then he handed to them white 
beads strung together which he had with him and said ' They said 
"This is the image of the earth island. " ' 

"When this speech was ended the Cherokee chief agreed. And 
the Cherokee chief said to his men 'Take him to the place from 
which he came and leave him there.' And they conducted him 
thither and left him. Then he returned to his tribe. And he 
said: 'I have spoken to the Cherokee chief,' and he informed them 
what he had done. Then peace making spread and became general. " 

The old chief from whom the last two stories came informed 
Mr. Gregory that such traditions must be repeated in a certain man- 
ner word for word, for a mistake would cost blood. Yet, such a mis- 
take has been committed either by the chief himself or by one of his 
interpreters, since we find some striking differences in detail. For 
instance, the item regarding the attack by Cherokee on the Coweta 
when they were hving inside of the mound does not appear in Gat- 
schet's version. 

A curious modern note is introduced by one of my own informants 
who said that the Muskogee came from the west, out of " the navel of 
the earth," and moved eastward after the sun until they reached the 
ocean. Then it was said: "As long as you can't go all of the way 
aroimd the earth you can not see the sun. " 

It is noticeable that all stories emanating from the Lower Creeks 
speak of their ancestors as having come up out of the ground at 
" the navel of the earth, " the connection of the navel with birth 


evidently having been responsihln for tliis designation.'*'' An old 
woman told one of my informants of the Okchai town that for a 
long time after mankind had come out of the ground great caves 
remained there. Once some Indians bearing torches entered these 
in search of bee martins. They found trails of human beings and 
could make out the marks of moccasins, but the cave people threw 
stones at them, they were afraid that their torches would be put 
out, and so they turned back. Another informant remembered a 
belief that men had come out of the water, but still others quoted " the 
old people" to the effect that mankind had come from above, and 
when we examine the matter we seem able to trace this type of 
origin myth to Tukabahchee. Alindja, an old and well-informed 
Tukabahchee Indian, told me the following legend: 

" The Indians were sent down from the world above to some place 
in the west. They had with them the two principal busk medicines, 
the pasa and miko hoyanidja, and among them were seven mikos. 
They also had fire. Originally there were two camps of them, but 
after a while one camp decided that they would return. They kept 
their intentions to themselves, however, until toward night. Then 
they said 'We are ready. We are going,' and up they went into the 
sky. By that time it was so late that the people in the other camp, 
among whom were the seven mikos, said ' We will go tomorrow.' 
But before mornmg one of their number died, and, as they could not 
leave the body in this world or take it with them, thay had to remain. 

"After they had stayed in that place for a while they said 'Let us 
travel,' and they got up and started off. First they went toward 
the north, but after they had proceeded some distance they set a 
walking stick up in the gi-ound. Forthvrith it leaned toward the 
south and they said 'That must be the way we should go.' They 
set off toward the south, and presently they set up the walkmg stick 
again. This tune it leaned toward the east, so they went east. They 
went on eastward for a time and set the stick up again. It remained 
exactly perpendicular and they said 'Here is the place,' and they 
settled there, having traveled across the whole world to reach it. The 
word is that our companions, our blood relatives, are in the world 
above. The chiefs who remained were to be the kings of this con- 
tinent and they were the seven milvos of Tidiabahchee towm." ^' 

Tliis story was paralleled in its main outlines by another informant. 

As I have stated elsewhere,^^ the origin of Tukabahchee seems to 
have been distinct from that of the Muskogee proper. According to 

*' In his communication to Schoolcraft regarding the Chickasaw Indians the agent of that tribe says that 
they did not know the origin of the artificial mounds in their old country and called them " navels." " They 
thought that the Mississippi was the center of the earth, and those mounds were as the navel of a man in 
the center of his body." (Indian Tribes, I, p. 311.) 

" See p. 283. 

« Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 278. As also indicated in that work, the Tukabahchee had several 
special names. One of these was Isti ispokogi isti fatcasiko toyayat, "Spokogi who deviate from the 
strict order or way of doing things." I have mentioned this in the place above indicated but unfortunately 
omitted the negative after f4tca. Another name applied to them, according to Mr. Grayson's notes, was 
Sakafaki Tastanagi, Isti Ispokoki toyayat. 


a migration stoiy collected by Tuggle and given in Bulletin 73 they 
marclaed south instead of east and claim to have been in Georgia 
when the white people entered the country. The latter part of this 
tradition is confirmed by Nuttall,*^ and if it is correct, as seems to 
be indicated in tlie case of some constituent elements of the nation, it 
would account for a tradition remembered by Zachariah Cook to the 
effect that they had migrated from the east and had crossed a ditch 
on a footlog which they placed across it with the greatest difficulty. 
After they were once over they could not get back. 

Following is the Tuckabahchee origin myth as related to me by 
Cook who had it from a Creek Indian, now dead, known as Judge 
Nokosi. Judge Nokosi told him that it was fragmentary, and that 
the last person to know it in its completeness was an old man named 
Napoleon Yahola, who died before the Civil War. 

"In the beginning the Indians came pom-ing out of the earth like 
ants. Those who got out fu'st looked back, saw in what crowds the 
others were coming on, and said ' It will not be good. It must be 
stopped.' And it stopped. In those days they laid down the 
towaka (logs) about the stomp ground. After they had arranged 
these and were seated upon them — they were then in the country 
where later they built their towns — up came the tall Coweta and 
found them. The Coweta said 'Who are you?' 'I am the little 
Tukabahchee.' 'Wliat have you?' 'I have only the miko hoyanidja 
and my whoop.' The Tukabahchee miko held the miko hoyanidja 
in his right hand. 'Let us hear you whoop,' said the Coweta. 
'No.' 'Yes, let us hear you whoop.' The Tukabahchee behaved 
very humbly and refused to whoop for some time but finally they 
agreed in order to please the strangers. Then their leader arose, 
stamped upon the ground, and whooped, and the earth quivered as if 
there were an earthquake. After the second whoop the Coweta 
leader said, ' My friend, that ■nail do,' but, having started, the Tuka- 
bahchee was obliged to complete the fom- cries. When he was through 
the Coweta chief said 'We will be friends. Here is my medicuie; 
let us combine the two.' So they united the pasa (button-snake- 
root) of the Coweta with the miko hoyanidja of the Tukabahchee, and 
the combined medicine is the sawatcka.*' Thereafter each used 

"About this time two Ispokogis came down from above, approached 
the ball ground and saw that there were people there and that it was 

*8 " The Creeks entertain a tradition of coming from the west side of the Mississippi, and that, too, at so 
recent a date, as to have heard of the landing of white people on the Atlantic coast soon after their arrival." — 
Nuttall in Early Western Travels, vol. xiii, p. 305. 

*' Alindja, one of the best informed Tulcabahchee, also stated that the pasa and the miko hoyanidja were 
the two standard medicines, although he said that the Coweta medicine was the kapapaska or spioewood. 
See below. Nevertheless, by others the sawatcka is given as a third medicine, and this is the statement 
of Hawlons. (Qa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 79.) 


good, so they remained witli the people. One of these Ispokogis made 
a dugout canoe, and, when it was completed, he got in and began float- 
ing up into the air. But, when it was some distance off, he looked 
back and saw all of the people standing still gazing after him. Then 
he said ' I can not leave them.' So he came back and, when he landed, 
the other Ispokogi lay down and died. The sm-viving Ispokogi re- 
mained with the people after that, and with reference to this event the 
word was 'There shall be a link of brothers, life without ending.' 
This meant that when one Ispokogi died there should always be 
another to take his place. Old Tukabahchee miko, who is known to 
have visited Washington, and who died on Red River about the year 
1864, was the last Muskogee to preserve a knowledge of the identity 
of the Ispokogi. Theoretically there always is such a chief, but since 
the death of Tukabahchee miko the knowledge of him has become 
lost. Tlus knowledge was anciently preserved by means of a certain 
council formed about the sacred hre in the busk ground." 

Benjamin Hawkins had heard of this chief, for he says "They have, 
in this town, a Mic-co of another family, the Is-po-co-gee Mic-co, 
the ancient name of the town." 

It is interesting to be able to add that we have some notes regard- 
ing the Ispokogi from that Tukabahchee miko above mentioned, 
recorded February 1, 1842, by Gen. E. A. Hitchcock. According to 
the story, as obtained from this source, seven persons of both sexes 
were sent down from heaven in very old times; later they attempted 
to return, but one of them, thought to have been a man, died, where- 
upon the others came back. They then sat down in a square and 
performed some ceremony wliich the Indians wished to learn. At 
first they were unsuccessful, but at last they discovered something 
about it, and the strangers then taught them how to make a fire and 
how to worship the Great Spirit. They also brought certain plates 
from heaven which they gave to the Creek chiefs. Colonel Hawkins, 
their former agent, said that these had come from the King of Eng- 
land, or at least from the British, but the Indians believed that they 
were from heaven and were to be worshipped."" The new comers told 
them to make a new fire once a year by friction, after having extin- 
guished the existing fire, and to thank the Great Spirit for his bless- 
ing; at that season they were to exhibit the plates. When this hap- 
pened the Indians were using bows and arrows and lived entirely by 
hunting, but after a time they found some white people and from 
them obtained knives and other useful articles. At a similar early 
period the Tukabahchee met the Coweta. They smoked the pipe of 
peace together and agreed to an eternal friendship which they have 
ever since maintained, and all of the other Indians are obliged to 
look up to them. 

"» Elsewhere Hitchcock says that some Indians had a tradition that they had been presented by a 
Spanish King, and this was probably not Tar from the truth. 

swantonI native creek HISTORY LEGENDS 67 

TMs friendship between Tukabahchee and Coweta, the leading 
"Red towns" of the Upper and Lower Creeks, is woven into many 
stories which derive tlieir importance from that fact. Alindja, tlie 
informant already mentioned, gave me another version, which runs 

"Anciently the Tukabahchee were at odds with all of their neigh- 
bors and were continually fighting but were uniformly successful. 
The Coweta heard of them, and, themselves being powerful, wanted 
to meet them in order to measure their strength. After a long time 
they heard that they were in their neighborhood and they sent some 
messengers to speak with them. When the messengers arrived they 
asked whether they had any chiefs. 'Yes,' they said, 'we have a 
few.' 'Wliere are they?' Then two small, insignificant looking 
persons were pointed out to them sitting with their heads bowed 
down. Then the visitors addressed the chiefs saying 'We hear that 
you have a very powerful medicine which enables you to conquer 
everybody, therefore we have come to learn about it. Have you 
any warriors?' 'Yes,' said they, 'we have a few.' 'Let us see 
them.' 'We must whoop four times in order to call them up,' they 
said. 'All right,' answered the Coweta. Then they sent a mes- 
senger who returned presently with something wrapped up in a 
white deerskin. They unrolled this and produced a short stick of 
miko hoyanidja. Holding this they whooped once and the earth 
trembled and it thundered and lightened. After they had whooped 
the second time, the Coweta said 'That will do. You need not 
whoop any more.' But the Tukabahchee answered that they must 
go through to the fourth now that they had begun and they did so. 
Then the Coweta said, 'Let us become friends and exchange medi- 
cines.' They did this and have been firm friends ever since. The 
Tukabahchee medicine was, as we have seen, the miko hoyanidja; 
the Coweta medicine was the kapapaska (spicewood)." *''' 

Mr. Grayson, tlirough whom, as interpreter, the above story was 
obtained, told the following incident in illustration of the friendship 
between these two towns. Although in his later years he lived among 
the Eufaula Indians, he himself actually belonged to the Coweta 
town. He was once clerk at an election for head cliief of the Creek 
Nation and took exception to certain of the returns. For tliis a 
member of the election committee, the chances of whose candidate 
would have been injured by the exclusion of these, wanted him sent 
out. The chief of the committee, however, who happened to be a 
Tukabahchee, answered that this man (i. e., Mr. Grayson) was his 
friend from ancient times and for that reason he could not do it. 
Immediately everything quieted down and there was no fm-ther 

"> Note that the Coweta medicine, as here given, diflers from that in Cook's version of the legend. 


A different narrative, obtained from an old Lower Creek Indian 
named Fulotkee, runs thus: 

"Upon one occasion after a number of Indians had been reading 
those parts of the Bible which relate the story of Adam and Eve, 
they asked an old Indian of the town of Tulsa Canadian what liis 
forefathers used to say about the origin of man. He answered: 

" ' In olden times two Coweta men came from the northwest, each 
carrying a war club (atasa). They ran and whooped, so that the 
earth quaked and echoes rolled in all directions. In some mysterious 
manner this produced more people who came flocking around. 
After that they saw a flash of lightning in the north and the thunder 
following echoed along toward the southwest. It had a sound like 
that of people, so they sent out four men to search, and these four 
men saw people in the air. They talked to these people, and presently 
they came down and accompanied them back. They were the 
Tukabahchee. Then the men of the two towns said "We have seen 
each other's power; let us imite. The Coweta shall be the leaders." 

"'After tliis they drifted eastward until they came to the sea. 
And in course of time people emerged from the waves, seeming to 
come up out of the foam. Therefore the Indians believed they had 
been hatched from it and they called them Nokfilalgi, "People of the 
foam or ocean drift." These were the white people and they fought 
with the Indians but were at first prevented from gaining a foothold. 
The whites were very clever, however, and behaved so humbly that 
in time the Indians began to make treaties with them and allow them 
to come to land.' " 

In the following traditional story of the original meeting of the 
Upper and Lower Creeks we are somewhat reminded of the narratives 
just given. It was recorded in the year 1845 by James Logan, 
United States agent to the Creek Indians. 

"The Creek nation is divided into two parties, designated as the 
Upper Towns, and Lower To^vns or Mcintosh party. This diAasion, 
according to then- traditions, has always existed. Indeed, it is 
stated that they have only been known to each other but little 
upwards of a centuiy, and their first meeting upon the banks of the 
Chattahoochee was in a hostile attitude, each deeming the other a 
belligerent and separate and distinct nation; and only upon the eve 
of battle did they discover their affinity of language, which, though 
essentially the same, has some peciiliarities possessed by the one 
different from the other." *' 

From several sources the story comes that at one time the Tuka- 
bahchee were a small, persecuted people whom the Coweta agreed 
to befriend and protect. The Tidcabahchee were surrounded by 
enemies who were just about to shoot down into their town. This 

" Rep. Comm. Ind. All. for 1S46, p. 515. 


story is not, however, ancient, since it is a well-known historical 
fact that on the outbreak of the Creek-American war the Tuka- 
bahchee were hard pressed by other Upper Creek towns mitil the 
Coweta came to theu- assistance. 

Undoubtedly there were once myths similar to those told about 
the Tukabahchee and Coweta, to accoimt for the friendships and 
differences of all the principal groups of towns in the confederacy, 
but not many have come down to us. The following fragment 
tells of the j-elations between the Tukabahchee and the LiwahaU, the 
latter probably the most ancient Red Town among the Upper Ci-eeks. 
It was related by an old Indian named Kasihta Yahola, suice 
deceased, who belonged to Laplako, a branch of Liwahali. 

"The ancestors of the Tukabahchee and the Liwahali were once in 
a fog or vajjor which prevented them from seemg each other. The 
Liwahali wanted to see the Tukabahchee very much, and finally the 
fog was blown away so that they could do so. For some time the 
Ispokogis (Tukabahchee Indians) woiild not speak to them. At last 
they said, 'Wlio are you?' They answered, 'We are the Holiwahalis 
("those who cut the war in two")'. Then the Liwahah asked m their 
turn who the strangers might be and they answered, 'We are the 
Ispokogis and Tukabahchee.' Then said the Tukabahchee, 'AU 
right, you shall be our younger brothers.'" 

The following is told regarding the Tukabahchee, Atasi, and 
Liwahali : 

"Once, in ancient times, the Liwahali became angry with the Atasi 
and determined to destroy them. But the Tukabahchee said to the 
Liwahali, ' Don't do that. The}' might be of use to you in pickmg 
up spoons or something of that sort.' The LiwahaU persisted in their 
determination, however, until the Tukabahchee said, 'If you destroy 
them, you will have me on your back,' when they gave it up." 

This story was perhaps evolved to express or explain the friend- 
sliip which grew up between Tukabahchee and Atasi. In later 
times the foi-mer called the Atasi, "the carers of our medicine." 

Another set of myths deals with the ancient towTi of Coosa and 
its offspring, although the latter are mentioned but seldom, the myth 
usually confining itself to a mere account of the origin of the mother 
town and an explanation of its name. One of these stories has been 
given already in the Tulsa migration legend.^'" Another informant 
said that Coosa was called Taloksli'mgi (" Town-lost-in-the water") 
by the Creeks, and that it had sunk into the water untQ nothing 
could be seen of it except the ball post. According to still another, 
the town was swallowed up by an earthcjuake. Two persons escaped 
by jumping into Coosa River and swimming to land. When they 
were found by people from other towns they were making little bows. 

'«' See p. 53. 


The place wlu^rc this happened is said to he called "the rocky sxinken 
])laco in the Coosa River." Owing to "some powerful attraction" 
no hirds could cross at that point except one called the koskosa, and 
from this fact both river and town obtained their name. The last 
circxunstance was also knowni to Jackson Lewis. A stoiy related to 
the above was told by a Nuyaka Indian and is to the effect that the 
Coosa were a people foimd ui the ilver of that name in vessels — 
wlaich must have been canoes — carrying white flags at either end. 
They were taken out and made into a towTi by the Hickory Ground 
(Otciapofa) people who protected them. Therefore they came to 
be considered as the offspring of Hickoiy Ground. 

The longest and best version which I myseK obtained was related 
by an old man of Hilibi named Woksi miko and runs thus: 

"An unmarried woman in the town of Coosa (Kosa or Koza) went 
to draw water from the spring and was afterward found to be preg- 
nant. When her child was born it was spotted. Then her brothers 
and some of her relatives thought this was the offspring of a water 
tiger (wi katca), which the Muskogee now identifj^ vnth the leopard, 
became angry with her, and wanted to kill it. But she had some old 
relatives who opposed them and finally prevailed. The busk ground 
and 'hot house' where they councilled about this stood near the 
river, and the gu'l ran to the water tiger and said ' There is an effort 
being made to kill my child, but they have not killed it yet.' Then 
the water tiger said 'Let those who are disposed to defend the cliild 
move away from the rest.' The woman told these what the water 
tiger had said, so they moved away, from the town, and that night 
the water tiger brought on a great inimdation which covered Coosa, 
with its sc^uare ground and all, but for years after people could see 
there the main timbers that braced the old tcokofa. The water tiger 
took the woman home to live with him. Then the few persons who 
were left alive came together and said " We were once a great town 
but now there are very, very few of us and we are ashamed of having 
fallen off so in numbers (ista'kosi). Nevertheless let us get together 
and make another town for ourselves,' and they did so, establishing 
the town we now know as Tulsa (istalsosi) .*'* Those who were en- 
gulfed in the river did not all die, and afterward people could hear a 
drum beaten there when they were dancmg and having their good 
times. There is now a wlurlpool on the site of the old town and close 
to the river. Sometimes people used to see beams whirling round in 
this eddy, and occasionally men sitting upon them. No bii-d could 
fly over the whirlpool, and those which tried always fell into the 
center of it and were drowned. But there is a small bird with a 
yellow breast which seems to say ' koskoza ' and this could fly across 

"'The first word seems to be a contraction of isti alsakosi. "many people ashamed," while the second 
is isti alsosi, "one (or a few) ashamed." The first is a pun on Kosa; the second on Tulsa. 


with perfect ease. Some maintained that the people beneath the 
water favored these bh-ds and let them fly across. We name them 
from the noise wliich they make." 

A Aversion, differing from all of the above in certain particulars, 
was recorded by the late G. W. Grayson from Caley Proctor, one of 
the leading "reactionaries" among the Creeks at the present time, 
and I insert it here through the courtesy of the Grayson family: 

"Cosa, according to this legend, was the original name of the 
Muscogees, two of whom, at a very early day, went away from home 
on a hunting expedition in the wild woods as was the habit of the 
people in those times. Having gone as far as they cared to travel the 
first day, they encamped near a stream of water. Near their camp 
stood a large tree, from a certain part of which the men noticed that 
drops of water occasionally fell. Regarding this as a rather strange 
plienomenon, one of the men determined to investigate it, and he 
climbed the tree to ascertain the cause, while his companion awaited 
the result below. He found the tree to be hollow at a certain point, 
containing a considerable quantity of water collected therein from 
rainfall, from which descended the drops of water they had observed. 
In tliis water were a number of fishes. With his hands he caught some 
of these which he brought down, cooked and ate against the pro- 
tests of his companion, who said, 'We have always been counseled 
not to unilertakc to do anything unusual Avithout the advice or con- 
sent of persons older than we and of gi-eater experience, and I think 
you should not eat the fishes taken in so strange a maimer lest some- 
thing terrible befall you.' But the 3'oung man coidd not undo his 
rash act, and soon its effects began to show clearly; in a little wliile, 
that same evening, his human head and face changed into the head 
of an immense snake, while Ms arms and legs also changed, com- 
pleting liis metamorphosis into a large serpent of horrible appear- 

"Next morning he bewailed his plight to his companion, saying: 
'You in all friendliness advised me not to eat of the fishes lest evil 
befall me, but, not regarding your friendly caution, I ate them and 
am now suffering the consequences of my obstinacy. Go now and 
inform my parents of my plight, tell them how it came about, and 
say to them, if they desire to see me, to come here. I will be in the 
creek near by. Wlien they come let them discharge a gun as a signal 
of their arrival and I shall come out of the water to meet them.' 

" So saying he entered the waters of the creek and disappeared, leav- 
ing his friend alone in camp. The latter thereupon returned to the 
town of Cosa, and to the parents and relatives of the now metamor- 
phosed man he related all that had occurred and told how he had 
been deputed by his unfortunate friend to relate the story of his 
mishap and how they might once more see him if they desired. 


" The parents and relatives and all others who had heard the 
story were greatly concerned and, assembling in full force, repaired 
at once to the place indicated where they discharged the gun as their 
friend had directed. On hearing this signal the snake man came 
forth from the creek and stretched himself affectionately across the 
laps of his parents as they sat in the midst of the assemblage. Upon 
tills they gave way to their grief and set up a great wcMeta,^^'^ expres- 
sive of sorrow for the loss of their son. The monster said sadly: 
'You see me in this pitiable condition, the circimistances of wliich 
have, I presume, been explained to you so that you understand how 
it came about. I now suggest that my relatives and friends return 
to their homes and on the fourth day from the present gather at the 
Tcook-u'-thlocco ("Big House" — i. e., the Sciuare Ground) where 
I will meet them later.' Saying this, the snake-man returned to the 
water and his relatives and friends went back to their homes. 

"On the fourth day the relatives and friends of the snake-man 
gathered at the Tcook-u'-thlocco, as had been requested, and many 
others came near but remained on the outside. Presently the snake- 
man made his appearance, coming from the stream in which he had 
taken refuge, and he was followed by a stream of water. When he 
entered the groimds occupied by the public buildings they all sank, 
along with the people gathered there, and this was the origin of 
Coosa River. 

" Those who did not enter the Square Grounds with the friends 
and relatives of the snake-man were not destroyed, but gathered 
themselves together and became what was subsequently known as 
Cosa town, the members calling themselves Cos-is-tuggees, ' people of 
the Cosa town,' though the name is more properly Cos-ulgee. The 
residue of the Cosa people, having thus formed a town, bitterly la- 
mented on account of the calamity that had thus robbed them of 
so many of their valuable citizens. In grievous distress they cried 
out, 'Woe is our nation! We were the greatest of all the nations; 
our tus-e-M-yas were numerous, reaching out and laiown and dreaded 
the world over. But it is not so now. We have lost even our Tcooh- 
u' tJdocco, and a great number of our common people and great is the 
humiliation that has fallen on us. Shame and humiliation is now 
our portion. We can occupy only the place of the e-yas-he (the hum- 
ble, lowly, weak, unpretending).' The Cosas indulged in other 
similar jeremiads and changed their name to Tulsee, ulsee. signifying 
in the Muscogee language 'to be ashamed,' 'bashful,' while from it 
may be derived ul is he fa, 'shame,' 'disgrace,' but how the letter t 
could have become prefixed to ulsee is neither explained nor con- 

*8c Wahketa, a lamentation for the dead. 


The supposed derivation of the name Tulsa is, of course, fanciful. 
The story of the man turned into a serpent is well known among the 
southeastern Indians and I have several versions of it, but this is 
the only one in which it appears as explanatory of an liistorical event 
or social custom. 

Legus Ferryman and other informants told me that Kos istagi is 
the old name of the Tulsa people; that it was used frequently in 
speeches on the busk ground; and that names beginning with Kos 
were common among them. One informant stated that the term was 
applied, not to the entire people, but to one of the two moieties, per- 
haps the Whites. The same terms were used by the Okfuskee, and, 
although some informants knew nothing of a connection between 
these towms, it is practically certain. 

There is a story, the origin of which I do not know, to the effect 
that the Tulsa were once captured by the Tukabahchee. 

Of course the native explanations of the names Coosa, Tulsa, and 
so on are the results of later reasoning. I met with two interesting 
cases of this linguistic phenomenon in which the English language was 
haled in to give point to the story. One affirms that there was once 
a great feast at which the Coweta Indians consumed so much more 
than any body else that they came to be called " Cow eaters." The 
other amounts to a myth built up to explain the name Eufaula and 
was related by as competent an authority as Jackson Lewis. 

'■'In very early times the Eaufaula lived on one side of a certain 
stream and some Choctaw, with whom they were at war, lived on the 
opposite side which had a high bank. Every now and then a party 
from each would creep over to the other side, take a scalp, and, after 
their return, celebrate the event in the usual manner. Finally the 
Eufaula formed two bands of warriors which crept aroimd back of 
the Choctaw town, one on each side, made an attack upon it and 
drove its occupants over the bluff, compelling them to jump into the 
water. From this circumstance that place came to be called " Where 
the people jumped do^\-n in" (isti aktaski) or "Where the people 
fell down in" (isti aklatki), and the Eufaida are said to have gotten 
their name from that circmnstance. These names do not resemble 
the term Eufaula, but it is thought that that term is an English 
translation of them." 

The French memoir which I have assigned conjecturally to about 
the year 1 755 contains the following curious story purporting to be the 
origin myth of the Creek Indians, or at least of that part of them living 
on Tallapoosa River. As it seems to emanate from Fort Toulouse, 
perhaps it should be still further restricted to the Alabama-speaking 
Indians about that place. The apparent European elements which 
it contains — for instance, the production of hmnan beings from 
S2.j17°— 28 6 


stones reminiscent of the Greek story of Dencalion and P3^hrra and 
the objective ilhistration of the "in union there is strength " aphor- 
ism — render it doubtful how much we should credit to a purely Indian 
origin. At any rate it stands apart from all the stories above 

'■ They pretend that their first father having escaped with two 
male children from a imiversal deluge, for they all declare that there 
was one, went to consult the oracle. This told him to ascend a 
designated mountain covered with stones, some white and others 
black, collect as many of both kinds as he could before simset, he 
and his two children, and carry them over their lands, and the next 
day they would find as many men and women as they had carried 
stones; and that one of his little sons would become chief of a great 
nation made up of the fragments of many others, rendered fugitives 
by wars. The truth of the prediction of the oracle was demonstrated 
next day by the number of men and women they saw around their 
cabins, of whom they formed many villages. The good father find- 
ing himself on his deathbed, exhorted his children to live in a firm 
imion; he had a bundle of canes brought which, having fastened 
together, he told them to break, which they could not do. But 
having detached these canes and given them out one after the other 
they broke them easily. Upon this he told them that so long as 
they were united, their enemies would not be able to destroy them, 
but they must take care not to separate, or they would infallibly fall 
into slavery. While these things were taking place there arrived a 
beautiful Indian woman, almost white, who by her fme face and 
noble bearing showed that she was not of the lowest rank. She told 
them that she had come from a distance, that she had left her village 
when it was on the point of falling into the hands of enemies, and 
asked of them an asylum. This they generously granted, so much the 
more wilhngly as she began to move the affections of the eldest son 
very deeply. The father on his side encouraged his son to take her 
as his wife and had the pleasure of seeing her become his daughter- 
in-law before he died. But scarcely had he closed his eyes when the 
other brother, jealous of the possession of such a beautiful \nfe by 
his brother, disputed with him over the leadership, and raised a part 
of the people who were in his interest. A war followed in which the 
elder brother was killed. Immediately after his death a white bear 
made its appearance. As there were only black bears in that country, 
this appeared astonishing. This bear was followed by a number of 
black bears, which waged a cruel combat against the white bear in 
the presence of the people, but it remained victor after causing a 
general carnage among the black bears, and disappeared immediateh'. 
When everyone had recovered from his astonishment, the victorious 
brother went to find his sister-in-law but he coidd not discover her 


anywhere, and it was in rain that he sent parties here and there to 
search for her. After useless investigations, they beheved that it 
was this beautiful woman who had been killed in the battle and had 
assumed the body of a white bear, and that the struggle signified 
their approacliing slavery. 

" In regard to the oracle of which I have just spoken, they say that 
between three mountains which make a tripod is a valley, very deep, 
dark, and inaccessible because the sides are perpendicular, into which 
if one fell he could climb up again only by means of ropes; that below 
is seen shining something like a burning torch, and it is there where 
the one who knows the secret goes for the oracle, for in the nation 
there is only one man and his wife who know it. There are two, they 
say, for fear lest if there were but one and he happened to die sud- 
denly or in war, the secret would be lost. I heard the story of that 
secret place where the three mountains are from a French officer, 
a friend of mine and commandant of the Alabama post. Having 
heard it spoken of, he thought the appearance must be occasioned by 
precious stones at the base of these uiountams; perhaps, said he, a 
carbuncle. With this thought in mind he wanted to try to discover 
the secret. He ordered the interpreter to bring before hun one of 
the two guardians of the secret. By chance it was the woman whom 
he brought, having found her first; and, knowing well that they love 
brandy as much as their husbands do, the commandant got her 
intoxicated. But he found her very different from European women, 
for he was not able to draw from her any information, since she pre- 
ferred to die rather than make it known. She added that, if she told 
him, she would not be able to escape; the oracle would cause her 
death, and, after death, instead of passing into the body of some fine 
animal as she expected, it would make her enter the body of a croco- 
dile (alhgator), the usual punishment in the other world for those 
who have misbehaved in this. They believe m transmigration. 
There are even certain nations wliich will by no means eat of some 
animals for fear of eating th^ii- relatives or friends, for each nation 
has its especial animal into the body of wliich it must enter after 

The First Meeting Between the Creeks and the White 


This event, of such great, if also tragic, interest to the Indians, is 
the subject of a number of stories. One of these has already been 
given, and there are several more of similar ty]ie. Kasihta yahola, 
an Indian of the Laplako town, had heard that the Americans were 
formerly out upon the ocean and at first the Muskogee would not 
let them land, but finally they relented, and a prophecy arose at 
that time to the effect that the Indians would idtimately be dis- 


possessed by these newcomers. Another informant said that the 
Indians were beUeved to have come out of the earth, and therefore 
they own it and are to go back into it. The white people, on the other 
hand, were created later out of the foam of the sea. They first 
bogged to put one foot on shore to rest themselves a little, and the 
Indians consented, but afterward the newcomers complained that it 
was tu'csome to stand on but one foot and they asked to be allowed 
to set the other ashore. This also was granted. Next, the whites 
wanted to buy from the Indians as much land as could be covered 
with a hide, and when the Indians agreed they cut the hide into strips 
and made it surround a large area. In this way the Indians were 
gradually dispossessed. The Indians were also given a prophecy at 
that time to the effect that the whites would come and preach to 
them and the preaching would move westward. 

Here we have the famous "cowhide purchase" myth, which dates 
back as far at least as Virgil, reinjected into Indian thought, appar- 
ently from a modern schoolbook. The most remarkable intei-weaving 
of schoolbook and other latter-day elements into a kind of Indian 
neo-philosophy is, however, the following from a decidedly reac- 
tionary Creek of Hilibi town : 

"When Columbus reached America the fu-st thing he saw was an 
eagle with a bunch of arrows in one claw and some leaves in the other. 
The arrows had been shot by the Indians and the eagle had caught 
them. Then Columbus and his people landed, but, being at first 
unable to open communication with the natives on account of their 
shyness, they resorted to a stratagem. They set a barrel of whisky 
ashore, laid a cane by it, and then withdrew. Afterward the Indians 
found the barrel and got drunk so that the white people were enabled 
to capture one of them. The rest managed to get away. They 
took the man they had captured and taught him "English" and 
tlu-ough him they gradually became acquainted with the rest. 
Then they began to make treaties. To illustrate the gradual en- 
croachments of the newcomers and how they dispossessed the Indians 
the following parable is told. Seventy Indian chiefs sat on a log 
which had fallen toward the west, and every time the wliites came to 
make a treaty with them they would move up on it a little. They 
kept hitching up untd at last the end man was shoved off. Then he 
said: 'There it is. I told you that is what you would do with me.' 
The white people induced them to make a treaty granting them as 
much ground as could be covered with a cowhide, and afterward 
they cut the hide into strips and treated them in the way already 
related. More white people kept coming and trouble arose, so that 
part had to go back. The remainder, however, promised that they 
would treat the Indians right as long as the streams ran and the 
water lasted." 



This curious mixture contains an attempt to explain tlie eagle 
on our national seal, and includes a version of the "cowhide 
purchase," reference to the American Revolution, a story said to 
be drawn from the life of Tecimiseh, and the treaty by which the 
Creeks were deeded their lands west of the Mississippi. The episode 
of the whisky barrel — which of course could not have been a whisky 
barrel — gives significant prominence to a potent source of Indian 
misfortunes. An old Tukabahcheo informant had the following to 

"It was predicted bj^ the great Ruler that the Creeks were to be 
at the doorway of tliis continent and that the white people were to 
come there and treat with them. And the coming of the white 
people was in this manner. The Indians, looking out upon the ocean, 
thought that they saw a duck floating there. It came nearer and 
nearer and proved to be a boat. When the Indians saw people get 
out of this boat they became frightened and ran away to hide behind 
trees from which thej' could watch the strangers. Then they saw 
the strangers bring some barrels ashore and drink from them. After- 
ward the whites withdrew to a distance and the Indians came to the 
barrels to examine them. Finding that the stuff which they con- 
tained had a pleasant odor they drank some of it and became tipsy. 
Then the white people ran forward and tried to capture them but 
they got only one. The others called to them to bring their com- 
panion back but they would not let him go until he had learned to 
speak their language. Then they sent him back to them and he 
told them that the strangers talked fair but wanted land. For a 
time the Indians refused to sell any, but the whites were so insistent 
that the ninety native chiefs finally agreed to treat with them and 
let them have some. The word given to the Indians by the white 
people at that time was 'I will be the father of your tribes,' and 
consec|uently the Indians call a white man 'wliite father.' " 

Some amusing things are told of the uses to which these primitive 
Indians put the articles which the white people gave them. On 
receiving some flour, for instance, they mistook it for white paint 
and painted their bodies with it. 

Prophecies Regarding the Fate of the Indians 

Besides the very general prophecies regarding their fate wliich con- 
tact with the whites naturally brought out, there were prophecies 
which seem to have belonged in part at least to the original body of 
myth of the tribe. As we have seen, one informant supposes that the 
Indians having come out of the earth will go down into it again, which 
indeed happens ^vith each individual's body at death. According 
to another man this disappearance was to take place just where their 
emergence had occurred, at "the navel of the world." Preceding 
this "the busk would begin to suffer from neglect, the people refuse 


to obey orders, and tlic whole ceremony come to an end." Accord- 
ing to yet another stoiy the destruction was to be brought upon the 
Creek people by the loss of their women, who were to be taken away 
to an island, though by what agency is not stated. An old man of 
Tukabahchee, now long dead, is quoted by Zachariah Cook as having 
said that at the end of all things the world would slirivel up to " the 
mother of trees," which was at or identical with " the navel of the 
world," and then all of the people would be destroyed except four, 
who would be carried up to Ibofanga (The-one-above) on a block 
of wood.^**^ 

Again it was said that by and by the Creeks would come to sing 
the Kilisto (Christ) song, and that would be an indication that as 
a distinct tribe they were to come to an end. Or according to 
another version, when the Kilisto song came to be adopted by the 
Creeks the old tradition would be driven away, the busk would fall 
into disuse, and then the Indians would decline in numbers. When 
the last of the Indians had disappeared their land would disappear 
also, presumably under the waters of the ocean. 

The Indian agent who supplied Schoolcraft with information regard- 
ing the Chickasaw was told that at the end of all things the world 
would be destroyed by fire, and that then or shortly before it would 
"rain down blood and oil." This notion would appear to be in part 
at least from Christian sources.''^ In another place Schoolcraft gives 
the following information regarding the Muskogee, furnished by Mr. 
D. W. Eakins: 

" They have no cycle, or fixed or stated period, at the end of which 
they believe the world will come to a close. But they say it will be 
destroyed by fire; and when this period arrives, the earth wiU be 
fiUed with war; and a body of people will appear among the Indians, 
and they will be destroyed; and then the Great Spirit will destroy 
the earth, to keep others from getting possession of it. They do not 
believe that the Indian priests' cause its renewal." °° 

The rain of blood was also known to Hitchcock's informants : 

" Before the world comes to an end there is to be a general peace of 
all peoples, white and red (the blacks they seem to take no account 
of). After the peace, for a time it will rain blood and when trees 
are cut the sap will be blood. After that it will be seen that the world 
will be coming to an end and all people will go to one place to die. 

" The old 23eople used to say that those who are to be saved will 
go up, that the others will have towns under the earth. (Here he 
[the Indian informant] explained, as if anxious to impress it upon me, 
that tliis was what the old people had told him.) 

" There will be but a few that wtU go up, the good people; the bad 
people will go below." ^' 

In this last, Chi'istian influence is very evident. 

ltd Tuggle heard that at the end of the world all things would be swept to one place from the four 
comers of the earth. See next paper, p. 487. 

" Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, i, p. 310. »» Ibid., p. 272. " Gen. E. A.. Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 


The HorsEHOLD 

Geographical, economic, consangiiineal, and religious factors all 
entered into the evolution of the Creek confederacy. They took 
concrete shape in the household, family, clan, phratry, clan moiety, 
town, and town moiety. 

Women owned the houses and were permanent occupants, moving 
only as new houses were budt for them or as the entire group to which 
they belonged migrated seasonally or permanently. These houses 
were also the homes (htiti) of the nearest male blood relations, those 
whom the women ctiUed "uncles," "brothers," and "sons." They, 
however, normally went to the homes of their wives as soon as they 
were married, besides spending much trme in the public square and 
in the tcokofa. On the other hand, aged men, whose wives had 
died and whose chilth'en were gi'own up and scattoi'ed, might come 
back to the homes of their childhood, or, as frequently happened, 
they might spend theu- last years moving from house to house among 
the women of then- own clan connection — never, however, among 
those of the clan connection of their wives. 

A tyjjical Creek home would therefore consist of a man and woman, 
their childi-en, one or more sons-in-law, some grandchildren, some aged 
or dependent inchviduals of the same clan group, and perhaps an 
orphan or two or one or more individuals taken in war. These last, 
though somewhat looked down upon at fii'st, were rapidly assimilated 
with the tribe which had captured them and soon came to be appre- 
ciated in accordance with their proven merit. There was nothing 
that may properly be called a slave system among the Indians of the 
Southeast. Where polygamy existed the wives were generally own 
sisters and usually inhabited the same house, though there were cases 
in which a man had wives living in two or more distinct houses. 

The Fa>uly 

general remarks 

A fairly accurate clue to the Muskogee conception of the "family" 
is furnished by the terms of relationship. These consist of a number 
of root words, not now analyzable, and words formed from these which 
it is natural to assume are secondary in importance. Many terms are 
of the "classificatorj^" type, covering a number of individuals who 
to our way of thinking bear qiute distinct relations to the speaker. 
Theorists have tried to maintain that this collective use preceded the 
special or individual use, but so far as the Muskogee are concei-ned 
the evidence points to the special application as having been, if not 
the original, at least the typical or primary. Secondary or derivative 


H])])li<'ations are frequently indicated by means of the diminutive 
suflix or some qualifying word, though we find that this may some- 
times be omitted. In the tables which follow I have given merely 
the stems of the terms of relationship, but it must be understood that 
in actual use they never occur without the appropriate pronominal 
prefixes. For each of them there is an English term the use of which 
ap))roaches so closely to that of the Indian that it may be employed — ■ 
as I have in fact employed it — as tyjiical of the relationship in 


Teems or Relationship Used by a Man 


1. potca (grandfather). Applied: (1) to the father's father and 
the mother's father; (2) to the brothers of these, their fathers, grand- 
fathers, great-grandfathers, and their brothers ; in short, to all of the 
male ancients of the groups from which the speaker traces his origin; 
(3) to the father's sister's husband and to the husbands of all her 
female descendants in both the male and the female lines; (4) to 
husbands of the more remote posi mentioned below. It was bestowed 
on anyone whose wife was called jjosi and given as an honorary term 
to any old man. A man called the clan (or exogamous group?) of 
his father's father tcapotca lako, "my great-grandfather." 

2. posi (grandmother). Applied: (1) to the father's mother and 
the mother's mother, sometimes distinguished as "the real posi"; 
(2) to the sisters and female ancestors of these individuals in the same 
extensive manner as was the case with the preceding term; (3) to the 
father's sister and all of her female descendants in both the female 
and the male lines; (4) to more remote female descendants of all posi 
on the father's side. The husbands of all women called by this term 
were known as potca. 

3. Iki (father). Applied: (1) to the father; (2) to the father's 
brother; (3) to the father's sister's male descendants in both male 
and female lines ; (4) to aU other male descendants of the women on 
the father's side who are called posi ; (5) to the husband of the mother's 
sister; (6) to the stepfather; it carries the idea of "second father." 
All of these individuals except the true father are usually distin- 
guished by having apphed to them the diminutive form of this term, 

4. tcM (mother). Applied: (1) to the mother; (2) to the mother's 
sister; (3) to the father's brother's wife; (4) to the wives of the male 
descendants of the father's sister and the more remote relations upon 
the father's side who are known by the preceding term; (5) to the 
stepmother. And, as in the case of the preceding term, it usually 
takes the diminutive suffix in all usages except the first. 


5. pawa (uncle). Applied: (1) to the mother's brother; (2) to 
the older men of the mother's exogamous group and at times to the 
j^ounger ones also since it is said that an old man would sometimes 
call a small baby thus. Each exogamous group had an "uncle" par 
excellence who was its leader and instructor.^'" 

According to Morgan ^^ this term was also applied to the mother's 
mother's brother's son and to the mother's mother's mother's 
brother's son's son, the children and grandchildren of these indi- 
viduals receiving the same terms as the children and grandchildren 
of the mother's own brother. It is evident that the first of these 
can not belong to the same exogamous group as the mother's brother, 
because his father belongs to that exogamous gi'oup, while the second 
may or may not belong to it according as his father had married 
into that exogamous group or into another. If Morgan's informants 
were correct and he made no mistake himself, this would remove 
almost the last term from the number of those which might have 
had an application coterminous with an exogamous group. 

6. laha (elder brother). Applied: (1) to the elder brother; (2) to 
the older male child of the father's brother; (3) to the older male 
child of the mother's sister; (4) to a number of men of corresponding 
age in the exogamous group of the speaker. 

7. tcusi (younger brother). Applied like the preceding but to 
younger brothers and ;^ounger males of the same groups. 

S. wanwa (sister). The feminine term parallel to the last two. 
Loughridge and Hodge ''^ give wanwa for elder sister and tcuste for 
younger sister, but I am inclined to think that this distinction was 
not commonly made. According to Morgan^^ the stepsister was 
known by the same term. 

9. kputci (son). Applied: (1) to the son; (2) to the son of the 
elder or younger brother; (3) to the sons of all of those called laha 
or tcusi; (4) to the male cliUdren of those called pawa (uncle). The 
stepson was called tcakputci haki, "like my son. " 

10. tchusti (daughter) (see 22). Applied: (1) to the daughter; 
(2) to the daughter of the elder or younger brother; (3) to the daugh- 
ters of all those called laha or tcusi; (4) to the female children of 
those spoken of as pawa (uncle). The stepdaughter was called 
tcatchusti haki, "like my daughter. " 

11. hopwiM-a (nephew). Applied: (1) to the sister's son; (2) to 
all sons of those called wanwa; (3) to the younger men of the same 
exogamous group more remotely related. The plural form of this 
term, hopwitalgi, is used for the persons constituting this category 
and the next taken collectively. 

"<■ See pp. 122-123. 

" Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity, pp. 355, 360. 
w Louehridgc and Hodge, Dictionary, entry "sister." 
" Morgan, op. cit., p. 376. 


12. hiikpati (niece). Applied: (1) to the sister's daughter; (2) to 
all diiughtei's of those called wanwa; (3) to the younger women of 
the same exogamous group more remotely related, and extended, it 
is said, not merely to all of the young women of the group but to its 
entire female membership. 

13. osuswa (grandchild). Apphed: (1) to the grandchild of either 
sex by persons of either sex; (2) to the grandchildren of the broth- 
ers and sisters; (3) to the grandcluldren of the uncles (mother's 
brothers) ; (4) to the grandchildren of all called by the same terms as 
the brothers, sisters, and uncles; (5) to the descendants of all of these. 
In other words it seems to take in all of the coming generations 
generally except for the descendants of the women of the father's 
exogamous group and those related through it, who are all known 
as "little fathers," and grandmothers (posi). 


14. hewa (wife). This term was never employed by the man him- 
self "because it was thought that husband and wife are too closely 
related." Instead he usually called his wife hoktali (old -woman). 
Hewa, or a term very closely resembling it, was given to me as a 
synonym for hatcawa (see No. 18). Morgan," however, who gives 
it in the form ehiwa, enters it as one appUed by a woman to her 
brother's wife and, as might have been expected, to her mother's 
sister's son's wife. It is perhaps aignificant that it then takes the 
possessive pronominal prefix, indicating less direct connection, while 
the word for wife takes the direct pronominal prefix. 

15. mahe (father-in-law). Applied: (1) to the wife's father; (2) to 
his brothers and his and their male antecedents generally, as also 
probably to the older men of the father-in-law's exogamous group. 
Morgan says two fathers-in-law applied the term reciprocally. 

16. hoktalwa (mother-in-law). Applied: (1) to the wife's mother; 
(2) to the sisters and female antecedents of all these women, and 
probably to the older women of the mother-in-law's exogamous 
group. Morgan sa3-s that two mothers-in-law applied the term to 
each other. This word carries the meaning that the person so desig- 
nated has become "the old woman of the house." 

17. kaputci (brother-in-law). Applied: (1) to the wife's brother; 
(2) to the wife's sister's husband; (3) to all of the yoimger males 
related through the wife. 

18. hatcawa (sister-in-law). AppUed: (1) to the wife's sister; 
(2) to the wife's brother's wife; (3) to all of the younger females re- 
lated through the wife; (4) to the wife of the uncle (pawa) and all of 
those women married to the persons called uncle. According to 
Morgan ^^ it is also used for the brother's wife instead of tcukowaki 

" Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity, pp. 341, 381. " IbiJ., p. 380. 


(kawa) and this would seem to be more natural, since in that case 
hatcawa would prove to be the term for all of the women married into 
a man's famUy in his ovm generation, while tcukowaki would bo the 
corresjionding term for all of the males. Still aU my own informants 
disagree with Morgan on this pomt. As was to hare been expected 
in any case, Morgan also applies it to the father's brother's son's 
wife and the mother's sister's son's wife. 

19. tcukowaki (called by Morgan kawa) (sister-in-law, brother- 
in-law). Apphed: (1) to the sister's husband; (2) accordmg to my 
o^^^l informants to the brother's wife (see 18) ; (3) to the husbands and 
wives (?) of those called elder brother, yoimger brother, and sister; 
(4) to the sister's daughter's husband. It is possible that the term 
hatisi may sometimes have been used instead of this. In accordance 
with the expected we find Morgan "'' applying it to the father's 
brother's daughter's husband and the mother's sister's daughter's 
husband. The word means "he who Ues down at (my) house" and 
thus becomes a member of my family. 

20. hatisi (son-in-law, daughter-in-law). Applied: (1) to the son's 
wife; (2) to the daughter's husband; (3) to the wives and husbands 
of all of those called "sons" and "daughters." 

Terms or Relationship Used by a Woman 

Tliese are the same as the terms used by a man except as below 

The terms laha and tcusi are applied to the elder sister and younger 
sister respectively instead of to the elder and younger brother, 
and they are extended to corresponding female groups. Morgan 
states that the former term was bestowed upon the stepsister. 

21. tciiwa (brother). Applied: (1) to the brother; (2) to male 
children of the father's brothers and those classed with him, and to 
the male children of the mother's sisters and those classed with her; 
(3) to the stepbrother. It is the reciprocal of the purely male term 

22. tchuswa (child) .^^ Applied: (1) to own children of both sexes 
in place of the male terms kputci and tchusti; (2) to the children of 
the elder sisters and younger sisters; (3) to the childi-en of aU called 
by the same names as the elder and younger sisters. Sometimes the 
sister's childi'en and more remote relations were distinguished by the 
use of the diminutive suffix (tchuswutci) . The stepchild was called 
tcatchuswa hald, "like my child." 

Instead of employing separate terms for the nephew and niece, 
as did males, the women called them indiscriminately osuswa (grand- 
children) , and also gave this term to the children of the uncles (pawa). 

" Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity, pp. 317, 343. " The word is said to berelated to tcustakl, "eggs." 


Instead of applying the terms tchuswa or tchuswntci to the children 
of her father's brother's daughter and her mother's sister's daughter, 
Morgan states that a woman used the term osuswa. This is all the 
more remarkable as the motliers of these individuals are at the same 
time said to have been called by the same terms as the speaker's 
own sisters (laha and tcusi). This is also given as the term for the 
mother's sister's daughter's chUchen, and hence it presumably took 
in all of the cliildren of those called laha and tcusi except own sisters. 

23. he (husband). A wife did not use this term herself; she called 
her husband "my old man." 

A woman uses the same terms for her husband's father and mother 
that a man uses for his wife's father and mother. 

24. hatcawa (brother-in-law, sister-in-law). According to my 
own informants, this is applied to aU brothers-in-law and sisters-in- 
law — sister's husband, brother's wife, husband's brother, husband's 
sister, husband's brother's wife, and husband's sister's husband. 
As stated above (under 14), Morgan calls the brother's wife ehiwa, 
wlule I was told that the latter term, or one nearly like it, was syn- 
onymous with hatcawa in all of its uses. The ordinary word for wife 
is hewa (or haiwa) . 

Where sex distinctions were not connoted by the terms themselves 
they could be indicated by adding to any term honanwa, "male," 

or hokti, "female." 

Supplementary Teems 

25. itetcayeta, "the one next to whom I come" (or "the other 
brother" — Morgan*^) may sometimes be applied to the elder brother, 
but it is not necessarily bestowed on blood relations. Morgan gives 
this as a term for the father's brother's son and also for the 

26. saitca, used to designate the men of the father's clan. 

27. pitahaialgi (-algi plm-al sufBx) is believed to have been applied 
to the female offspring of the father's brothers. This is from infor- 
mation fiu-nished by the late G. 'W. Grayson. 

28. hisitagi, a term appUed to friendly clans not otherwise related. 

29. hupuitagi, "children," a general term; the singular is obsolete. 

30. hunapsi, "offspring." 

31. istutci ("httle person"), my child, refeiTing to any single 
child; hokosi is a term for cliildren in general. 

32. tcipanagi, or tcibanagi, the younger men of the clan or ex- 
ogamous group. 

Many of these terms, especially as respects their more general 
applications, are now used only in jest, but anciently their use was a 
serious and sacred matter. The following tables present diagram- 
maticaUy aU of the essentials of the Creek scheme of relationship. 

" Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity, p. 314. •» Tbid., pp. 314, 375. 




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Almost the only attempt b^' an early WTiter to give an idea of the 
nature of the Muskogee terms of relationship is by Stiggins, who says: 

"All the men of the father's clan or family are called their father, 
the women are generally called their grandmother, all the men of 
the mother's family older than themselves are their uncles, being 
their mother's brothers. All of their o-\vn age and under are called 
their brothers, and all of the old women of their mother's clan are 
called grandmother or aunt." "' 

This information agrees entu'ely with what has been presented 

The ceremonial extension of terms of relationship to clans as a 
whole is also mentioned by Stiggins. We shall refer to this again 
when we come to speak of the clan system. 

In spite of the emphasis which Stiggins places on clans in deter- 
mining the application of terms of relationship, an examination of the 
usages assigned to them shows that all of the terms not individual 
(such as the ones used to designate husband and wife) cut across, or 
at least may cut across, the lines of the exogamous groups. This is, 
of course, patently true of those applied to grandfather, grandmother, 
and grandcliild, and it is at once evident in the case of that applied 
to the father since it is used for all of the male descendants of the 
father's sister tlu'ough both males and females. The term for 
"mother" may be bestowed upon a woman not of the mother's clan 
because it is given to the wives of the father's sister's male descendants, 
apparently without any clan limitations. Again, if we may trust 
Morgan, the term "uncle," the mother's brother, is used for the 
mother's mother's brother's son who can not be of the same exoga- 
mous group as the mother's brother. "Brother" and "sister" are 
used, not only for the children of all of those called "mothers," who 
are of the same exogamous group, but for the children of those called 
"fathers," who may be of several distinct groups. The terms for the 
sister's children are not determined by clan lines because they may 
be used for the children of the father's brother's daughter. Still less 
is there an absolute association of the terms resulting from marriage 
and the exogamous divisions. 

It is evident, in other words, that the determining factor in the use 
of these terms is the relation wliich the several persons to whom they 
are applied bears to self, not the relation which they bear to his clan 
or exogamous group. It is evident, also, that terms are applied to a 
class for the most part because the individuals composing it are con- 
nected with some individual, or small group of individuals, having 
special significance for the speaker. That this extension of the term 
is secondary is shown clearly in many cases by the employment of 
the diminutive suffix wliich evidently indicates greater remoteness in 

«' stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 28. 


the connection. The iki or ikutci are connected with self thnni<i:li the 
primary Iki or father; or because, tlu'ough marriage, tliey have boisn 
brought in hne with other Iki. Much the same is true of the other 
relationships, and it becomes particularly obvious when we examine 
the associations due to marriage. The " typical" relations for a man 
appear to be: potca, grandfather; posi, grandmother; Iki, father; 
tcki, mother; pawa, maternal uncle; laha, elder brother; tcusi, younger 
brother; wanwa, sister; kputci, son; tchusti, daughter; hopwiwa, 
sister's son (or daughter) ; hakpati, sister's daughter; osuswa, grand- 
cliild; mahe, father-in-law; hoktalwa, mother-in-law; hatcawa, sister- 
in-law; kaputci, -safe's brother; tcukowaki, sister's husband; hatisi, 
spouse of cliild. The tj'jHcal relations for a woman are the same 
except that the terms used by a man for elder brother and yoimger 
brother she applies to her elder and yoimger sisters, while she has a 
term, tcihva, not employed by a man, for all of her brothers, and one 
term, tchuswa, for a child of either sex. Hatcawa has a widei exten- 
sion, and, according to Morgan, a new terni, ehiwa, is used for the 
brother's wife, perhaps a mere modification of the word "wife" 
itself; kaputci is not employed. The tie between an individual and 
his mother's people is certainly far closer than that between liim and 
his father's people, but the fact is not reflected in the terms of rela- 
tionsliip to the extent one would anticipate. 

Although no doubt the terms of relationslup employed by the 
various tribes incorporated into the Creek confederacy differed some- 
what not only in the forms of the words but in apphcation it is to be 
suspected that, as we have them to-day, they have been brought into 
conformity with Muskogee usage. This should be found particularly 
the case with Hitchiti and to a somewhat less degree with Koasati and 

My list of Hitcliiti terms is mcomplete. It is as follows: grand- 
father, fosi; father, Iki (in direct address by children, tati) ; mother, 
hki or ki (in dii-ect adcbess by children, watci) ; mother's sister, hkosi 
("little mother") ; elder brother, tcayi; younger brother, yakpitci (or 
yakposi); elder sister (man sp.), funld; younger sister (man sp.), 
otcabaka; brother (woman sp.), lakh; elder and younger sisters of 
woman, same terms as for elder and younger brothers of man; son, 
hopui; daughter, ostaiki; nephew (and niece?), ohosotci; wife, halki 
(called by husband in direct address hamiditci) ; husband, nakani 
("male") ; mother-in-law, katamoh. The oldest sister was known as 

The following diagram illustrates the Koasati terms of relationsliip, 
as they were obtained by me at the Koasati village in Louisiana: 





p 0-5 
-te E a 

mm p ^ 03 a^ 
%. t- 4) « ^ fl ? 

a PS 





" C r< 53 i-- ^ 
*t, wi o ■%- -i o n 


m ^S-3, 

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i«»S s 

■2 id 


o o 

82517°— 28- 



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■95" o 





c3 OS 

^ a D. 











43 ii 









f^ 2 o 


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O M c3 

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oj o-'::^ 
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ill fc-3 

o o 
CO n 


Most of the apparent difYerences between the Muskogee and 
Koasati systems disappear on closer examination, but a few diver- 
gencies are left which are rather striking. Thus Muskogee males call 
the children of the mother's brother by the same terms as the children 
of the own brother, while the Koasati give to them the terms em- 
ployed for the father's sister's children. Again, the Muskogee have 
but one term for son-in-law and daughter-in-law, while the Koasati 
have a term for each. 

So far as I have been able to determine, the Alabama system closely 
resembles that of the Koasati, but the words employed differ some- 
what. These differences are as follows: Grandfather, fosi; maternal 
imcle, mosi; father's sister, tcipo; elder brother of man and elder 
sister of woman, tcatci; yoxmger brother of man and younger sister of 
woman, balilo; daughter, ostaiki. Also, anale (or onali) is used for 
both the son-in-law and the daughter-in-law, so that Alabama 
resembles Muskogee in this respect more than it does Koasati. In 
direct address an Alabama child calls its mother pitci. 

A few Natchez terms of relationship were recorded by Albert 
Pike, Mrs. Robertson, and Dr. A. S. Gatschet from individuals 
belonging to those Natchez living among the Muskogee, but the 
more complete list obtained by the writer was secured from an 
Indian of the Cherokee branch of the tribe. No differences in 
usage have been observed between the two sections. 

From the narratives of Du Pratz and other early writers we know 
that the ancient Natchez organization was highly complex and a 
considerable development of the relationship terminology was to have 
been expected. Wliat has come down to us resembles in essentials 
the systems of the surrounding tribes, but there are a few peculiar 
features and some supplementary terms which suggest greater 
complexity in the past. The explanations which I obtained for some 
of these Natchez terms are contradictory, due no doubt in part to the 
fact that they were transmitted tlu-ough a Cherokee interpreter, but 
most of them may be straightened out by reference to the other 
Muskhogean systems. In the following hst I have numbered them 
so as to conform as nearly as possible to the numbers in the lists 
already given. 

Terms of Relationship Used by a Man 

1. dedex (grandfather). Applied to the grandfather on either side. 

2. icdu, yecdu, yecta, necte (grandmother). Applied to the grand- 
mother on either side, and to the father's sister. From the variant 
forms it is possible that the one used for the father's sister may 
have been slightly different from that used for the grandmother, but 
I think not. The secondary applications were probably like those in 
the other southeastern languages, though whether of the Muskogee 
or the Chickasaw type it would be impossible to say. 


3. ibic (father). Applied to the father and the father's brother. 
The latter was also called ibici'nu, little fatlier. The stepfather was 
called ibic hanicu'ya, wliich seems to mean "the made father." 
There is, however, another term said to have been applied to the 
father's brother, habox. In one place it is spoken of as if limited 
to the father's elder brother, in another it is given as a term for the 
father's sister, and in stiU another as a term for the mother's brother. 
In direct address the father was called tata. 

4. ixgwal (mother). Applied to the mother and the mother's 
sister. The stepmother was known as ixgwal hanicu'ya (see above) . 
But just as there appears to have been a second term for the father's 
brother we seem to find a second term for the father's sister, hapetse. 
Tliis was recorded by Pike in 1861 and may be assumed to belong to 
the older system. In direct address the mother is called dzudzuha. 

5. awex (maternal uncle). I have no evidence of any secondary 

6. gaga (elder brother). AppUed by a man to his elder brother. 
I have one statement to the effect that it was also applied by a 
woman to her elder brother, but this may be considered doubtful 
(see 21). It was not used by a woman for her elder sister. In a 
single place I fuid the term uwana dzaxp' dadanl'ya used for " my elder 
brother," the fii'st part of this resembling the following term. 

7. wana (younger brother (m. sp.), younger sister (f. sp.)). Be- 
sides the applications indicated it is said to have been used for the 
yomiger children of clan brothers and sisters respectively. 

8. alowats (sister). Applied by a man to his sister older or 

9 and 10. haxgwal (chUd). Applied by a man to his son or 
daughter; perhaps also by a woman, although this seems doubtful 
(see 22). The stepson or stepdaughter was called haxgwal hanicQ'ya. 
A man sometimes called his male cliild tamanu'nux. 

11 and 12. hedzina (nephew or niece). Applied by a man to his 
sister's child. 

13. hamahaUc (grandchild). Applied to the children of one's own 
sons and daughters, and probably with the same extensions as are 
found in other Muskliogean languages. There is also a categorical 
statement to the effect that it was bestowed by a woman upon her 
brother's children. 

14. alu (wife) (see 16). The term employed by a man for his own 
wife was simply tamal, "woman." 

15. wagat (father-in-law). 

16. hactibi (mother-in-law). This is also given by Gallatin in 
the oldest of all Natchez vocabularies as a term appUed to the wife, 
but it is probably because, as in other southeastern languages, the 



wife was often called by her husband "old woman" Giactip), a word 
from which the term for motlicr-in-law is also probably derived. 

17. edudziya (brother-in-law). Said to have been applied to the 
sister's husband and to have been used by both men and women; 
whether it was also bestowed by a man upon the wife's brother and 
the wife's sister's husband and by a woman upon her husband's 
brother and her husband's sister's husband is uncertain. 

IS and 19. hetala (sister-in-law). .Said to have been applied by 
persons of both sexes to the brother's wife. The wife's sister was 
called hecga, and according to one statement the brother's wife was 
so called, but this is probably an error. 

20. acowal, or icowal (son-in-law, daughter-in-law). This was 

used, apparently by persons of both sexes, for the son's wife and the 

daughter's husband. Gatschet has necegup for daughter-in-law, 

but I find no confirmation of this and no explanation of the form he 


Terms op Relationship Used by a Woman 

These were the same as those employed by a man with the ex- 
ceptions already noted and the following: 

As we have seen, a woman called her younger sister by the term 
wliich a man apphed to his yomiger brother; her elder sister, how- 
ever, she called atax. 

21. gabina, "male," is given as the term which a woman be- 
stowed upon her brother, and she is said to have called her elder 
brother gabina clla, "big brother" (or "big male"). The identical 
word is also said to have been used for "liusband. " 

22. As stated above (see 9 and 10) a woman is sometimes said to 
have called her children haxgwal, but the more usual term seems to 
have been abixgwal, also extended b}' her to her sister's children. 
A statement that she so denominated her brother's children is at 
variance with better testunony (see 13). 

The term for husband corresponding to alu is unknown. The 
collociuial expression was simply dom', "person." 

Supplementary Terms 

Cliildren of the father's brothers and sisters and the mother's 
brothers and sisters are all said to have been called icin gaha'wax. 
Kitax, later the general term for "friend," probably had at one time 
a special clan application. An orphan, or one who had lost a single 
parent, was known as icin dzuya'kdzup. 

Our knowledge of this system is admittedly fragmentary, and I 
give tabulations of it merely because they are easier to follow than 
a description. 









C rt « 

2 sa 


® Si 


— -SS- 

= 51? 




<3 = 



a a 

















O t- aj 

ir' —a* 

'fc, |_ p C3 

O to a^-aJ 

O &£ 


e S3 




2 * 
""2 .«" 

o 3 










." "sj 






H 03 
0) V -] 

T3 33 






3 bO 

03 Ja N 

2 t; 3 



In its main outlines this is like the better known systems already 
described. There are, however, two or three divergencies which 
would perhaps be of importance if we could be assured of the relia- 
bility of our data. One of these was the use of terms for the father's 
brother and the mother's sister having no etymological connection 
with the words for own father and own mother; another the employ- 
ment by a woman of a term for elder sister distinct from the term 
used by a man for liis elder brother. There is not a trace of the firet 
of these anomalies in Cherokee any more than in the common Musk- 
hogean tongues. Cherokee and ordinary Muskhogean usage do 
indeed diverge in applying terms to the brothers and sisters, but 
Natchez agrees with neither. Among the Cherokee there is one 
reciprocal term applied by a man to his sistei-s and by a woman to 
her brothers. A man has distinct terms for elder brother and younger 
brother, neither of which is, indeed, used by the woman, but, unlike 
Natchez, she has only one term for all of her sisters. 

When we come to the discussion of clans we shall find that terms 
of relationship, particularly the terms "uncle" and "nephew," 
were sometimes applied to clans taken as a whole (see pp. 145-149). 
They were also extended to towns and foreign tribes. Thus Tuka- 
bahchee has frequently been called "the mother town" (talwa 
itcki), an appellation shared also by Kasihta, Coweta, Coosa, Abihka, 
and Otciapofa. Malatchi, head chief of the Creeks about the middle 
of the eighteenth century and probably a Kasihta Indian, speaks of 
the Chickasaw as his "younger brothers" and himself as their "elder 
brother.""^ McGillivray informed Barton that the Cherokee had 
been longer in the east than the Creeks and therefore called the 
latter their "younger brotheis."*^ Like so many other tribes, the 
Creeks called the Delaware Indians their " grandf athere " and they were 
called "grandchildren" by both Delaware and Shawnee."^ School- 
craft, who gives this information, also adds: "Their traditions 
assign them a medium position in the political scale of the tribes. 
Wlaether tliis relationship is sanctioned by the tradition of all other 
tribes is not known; but by some it is." "* The French were formerly 
said to be the "fathers" of the southern Indians, and at the present 
day the same term is apphed to the Americans. 

The examination of these systems of relationship, particularly 
that of the Muskogee, makes it evident that they are based upon 
essentially the same factore as our own — blood, marriage, sex, rela- 
tive age, social contact — although the fourth item has much greater 
prominence. To these the influence of the artificial exogamous 
group must be added, but it can not be too strongly emphasized that 
this factor merely gives a certain twist to a system by no means de- 

" Bosomworth's Ms. Journal, p. 89. " Schoolcraft, iDd. Tribes, I, p. 268. 

" Barton, New Views, p. xlv. 



pendent on it, a system which gives the impression of something 
ah'ead>^ in existence before the artificial exogamous group was heard 
of. The family, then, as revealed by the relationship terminology, 
recognized all of the points of contact radiating outward from self 
through the affiliations of mother, father, brother, sister, wife or 
husband, child, nephew and niece, parent-in-law, son-in-law, daughter- 
in-law, and all of the various connections brought about through these. 
It is true that the association was distinctly closer with the mother's 
people than with the people of the father's group, but there is no evi- 
dence that tliis was anything more than a specialization wliich 
under other circumstances might have taken an exactly contrary 
direction, or might have maintained a balance between the two 
sides of the house. 

After devoting some space to a consideration of personal names, 
our next task will be to take up this special development and see 
what factors it adds to the family complex already considered. 


The customs of the Chickasaw and Creeks were so nearly alike in 
many particulars that an account of one will answer very well for 
the other, but there are exceptions, and one of these is in the matter 
of names, which differ not merely in the language in which they are 
couched but in the systems employed. Adair's exposition of Chicka- 
saw naming is as follows : 

"They give their children names expressive of their tempers, out- 
ward appearances, and other various circumstances; a male child, 
they will call Choola, 'the fox'; and a female, PakaMe, 'the blossom, 
or flower.' °° The father and mother of the former are called 
ChooUinf/ge, and CJiooTlishl:e, 'the father and mother of the fox'; in 
like maimer, those of the latter, PalcaMingge , and Pal-ahlishJce; for 
Ingge signifies the father, and IsJilce the mother. In private life 
they are so termed till that cliild dies; but after that period they 
are called by the name of theu' next surviving child, or if they have 
none, by their own name ; and it is not known that they ever mention 
the name of the child that is extinct. They only faintly allude to it, 
saying, ' the one that is dead,' to prevent new grief, as they had before 
mourned the appointed time. They who have no children of their 
own, adopt others, and assume their names, in the maimer already 
mentioned . . ."'' 

" When the Indians distinguish themselves in war, their names are 
always compounded — drawm from certain roots suitable to their 
intention, and expressive of the characters of the persons, so that 
their names joined together, often convey a clear and distinct idea of 

" The name of the " turtledove " (by which is meant the mourning dove or passenger pigeon) was also 
applied to a female child, .\dair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 26. 
" Adaii, op. cit., p. I'Jl 


several circumstances — as of the time and place, where the battle was 
fought, of the number and rank of their captives, and the slain. The 
foUowino; is a specimen : one initiating in war-titles, is cedledTannip- 
Ahe, ' a killer of the enemy ' ; he who kills a person cari-ying a kettle, is 
crowned Soonak-Abe- Tuska; the first word signifies a kettle,"* and the 
last a warrior. Mlngodshtabe signifies 'one who killed a very great 
chieftain,' compounded of Min()o, AsTi,'''^ and Abe. Pac-Mashtabe, 
is, one in the way of war-gradation, or below the highest in rank, 
Pae signif^-ing 'far off.''" Tisshu Mashiahe is the name of a warrior 
who kills the war-chieftain's waiter carrying the beloved ark." '^ 

Adair adds a wrong analysis of the name ShulasJiuinmastahe,''^ 
"Red shoe killer," known to the whites as Red Shoes. He gives also 
the names Chetehkabe or CheteJiJcabeshfo, "You are wearj^ killer"; 
or "You are very weary killer";" Noabe, "one who kills a rambling 
enemy ";'^ Pas'pTiardabe (Pa°s falaya abi), "killer of a long haired 
person"; i. e., of a Choctaw; and Yanasabe, "the buffalo-killer," 
given to one who has killed a distinguished enemy. '^ 

Speaking of the Creek Indians of Tuskegee, Speck says: 

"A male child was given no name until he had been initiated, but 
was known by the name of his totem, Fuswa 'bird,' Tcitto 'snake,' or 
perhaps some other epithet derived from a personal peculiarity. 
Girls were not called by the totem name, however, but were generally 
addressed by the kinship term or named after some natural occurrence 
or object connected with their birth. This name they retained with- 
out change through Ufe. Examples of female names are veiy rare." '" 

Mr. Mc Combs says that every male child was first called tciba'ni, 
"little boy," which is natural enough. Later men and women both 
received names derived either from those previously used by the 
family connection or such as were made up on the spot. Generally 
the latter commemorated some war exploit which the cliild's father, 
uncle, or other male relative had performed, and it is to be presumed 
that the same was true of the former, although many of them can 
no longer be interpreted. Their use was not strictly limited to one 
clan. Following is a Hst of common names applied to men furnished 
me by Zachariah Cook: 

Adju'li ("Old"?). 
Ano'gitca, "Beloved." 
lyago'pkl, "To squat," "to hide." 
Koabai'gl, ''To raise or rise." 
Litl'fka, "Shedding hair." 

8s Byington has asovak for "kettle." 
6» Or rather a"sha, "to sit." 

'0 Perhaps a Chickasaw word, wanting in Choctaw unless it is contracted from hopaki. 
" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 193. 

" Actually from shuliuih, "a shoe"; humma, "red"; ima'sha, "to have or keep something"; and obi 
"to kill." 
" From tcitikabi, or tcitikabi ishto; Adair, op. cit., p. 192. 
** From nowa, "to walk," "to ramble," and abi, "to kill.* 
^* Adair, op. cit., p. 192. 
« Speck, Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assn., vol. u, p. 116. 


Mahoba'ngI, "Spoiled" (meaning "the 

battle is spoiled since it is now 

Mane'djI, "To help someone." 




Maowd'H, "Near by something." 
Mate'tca, "Missed" (when one plans 

to meet another and fails). 
Mell'ndl (?). 
Midiwe'gl, "He throws him down for 

someone" (assisting in a fight). 
Mlle'I, "Pointer." 
PaM'tca, " To whoop and run upon the 

Safufi'skl, "Tumbling someone into a 

SIma"gI, "To say." 
Tahokng'stcJ, "To make anything 

Tdngang'hl, "A trap (for you?)." 
Tco'tkl, "Small." 
Tiwe'gT, "He throws someone down by 

VVasa'st, "Osage." 


From other sources I have obtained the following: 

around a tree at his own people by 
the camp fire, and warned them 
that it was dangerous to stand where 

Hltclfa'pa,'*" " Tobacco-eater." 
Hobo'yIhi'lllako,"Big handsome child." 
Hobo'yl lako, "Big offspring." 
Hohbo'i, "He might kill (finish) all 

his enemies." 
Homata'iga, "He crossed first." 
Hoya'hanI or Huya'hni "Passing by." 
A former head war-chief of the Chiaha 
and Okmulgee bore this name. 
Latci'mahidjaigl, "Peeping at some- 
thing (around a tree)." This was 
originally given because on a certain 

they were. 
Seletcl (?) (applied to a person of 

either sex). 
Takusa (?) (a common name but given 

to persons of importance). 
Te-wahatkl, "White hair with pieces 

of scalp." 
Tokulkl, "They two run." 
TomaH (?). 

war expedition the father peeped 

The following are from the notes of Dr. A. S. Gatschet: 

Sawase'gi, "Left alone in it," probably 
a fight; given to a man or a woman. 

Simahitca'gi, "Taking aim," or "Get- 

ting sight of an object which 

be shot." 
Tci'ho, "A man of Chiaha town." 
Tcuwatala'go, (?). 

Kotca'mi, (?). 

Ko'we, (?) (name for a man or woman). 

Ma'kale, probabl.v meaning "to throw- 
water on." ting sight of an object which is to 

Saga'hgi, "Two behind something," 
probably engaged in a fight; given 
to a man or woman. 

Sapinga'hli, "Taking away, abstracting, 

The following names applied to women were given me by Rev. 
William McCombs of Eufaula, Okla.: 

Isyolai'gi, "Two fell together" after 
having grappled with each other, de- 
pending only upon their physical 

.\na'hki, "Getting very near (the en- 
emy) by stratagem." 

Anatho'yi, "Two returning wounded." 

Folutho'gi. It is implied in this word 
that it perpetuates the memory of 
two men who entered a country 
beset with dangers in order to locate 
the situation, numbers, and so on of 
the enemy, who performed this serv- 
ice by strategem or otherwise and 
returned safely to their own people. 

Homawila'hki, "Two advancing in 
front" as scouts. 


Lasaho'yi, "We saw them at a distance 
chasing (the enemy)." 

Saho'hyi, "Two kept on after" the en- 
emy, while the rest halted. This is 
given as the name of General 
Weatherford 's mother. 

Wolai'gi, indicates two special men 
have been sent out from an encamp- 
ment to locate the enemy.""' 

Tea Perhaps this should be Hitcipapa. 

■« The daughters of Hobo-Hilayahola, the great Creek orator, are said to have been called Kisila and 
Asihi (Smith. Misc. Colls., No. 53, p. 14). 



[ETH. ANN, 42 

Another feminine name, said to l)e very ancient, was recovered by 
Mr. Grayson and bestowed upon one of his own children. This 
name, Tsianlna, can not now be interpreted. Two other names, 
Tsinl'a, "peeping," and Mitiwo'lili, which probably means "turning 
around," were given me by Mrs. Grayson. 

The following feminine names were collected by Doctor Gatschet: 

Fik'-huya'hni, "Heart passing by, 

about, or around." 
Isa-usai'ki (?) or Sahusai'ki, "One left 

(in war) with it." 
Mihi'H, "One wlio likes somebody." 

Among the Alabama of Texas the war names have long since 
passed out of use, and most of the young people do not have Indian 
names of any sort, while the meanings of those still preserved are 
not known. Following is a partial list of Alabama names: 

Setakha'hgi, " (Fighting) in a line." 
Simihi'li, "One getting attached to 

someone" (this may, perhaps, be used 

for a man). 














































Busk names should rather be called titles. In former days they 
were ordinarily given only on account of warlike exploits, especially 
the taking of scalps, but, as I liave noted elsewhere, they could some- 
times be secured by obtaining eagle feathers or lulling many deer. 
In a few cases such titles were conferred upon women.'' Each clan 

" See Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. ii, p. 42; however, in an unpublished Hitchiti story collected by Doctor 
Gatschet, in recognition for a deed of heroism which one woman performed, a busk title was conferred, not 
on her but on her son. 


had its own set of titles which were given to new aspirants after the 
death of the former holders. If at any time the titles belonging to 
a clan were entirely exhausted a name could be borrowed from the 
clan of the aspirant's father, but after the death of the holder it 
would revert to the clan from which it had been taken. 

These titles usually contained two words, of wliich the second was 
commonly hadjo, fiksiko, yahola, imala, tastanagi, or miko. The 
last tliree belonged properly to certain classes of functionaries to be 
described elsewhere, but in some towns they seem to have become 
hereditary in the clans; at least this is definitely afhnned for the 
term tastanagi. It has frequently been reported tliat these titles 
were bestowed in a certain order. Thus one of my OAvn informants 
said that a man would probably be given first a name containing 
hadjo, next one with imala, and fuially one with tastanagi. Another 
gave the order as hadjo, tastanagi, and miko. Most of this is 
explained, however, by the fact that the names imala, tastanagi, 
and miko were applied to officials. Nevertheless there seems to 
have been some tendency to use a name contaming hadjo first and 
one with yahola later on. These two, together with fiksiko, are 
called "common names," which here mean merely that they did not 
carry official positions with them. Hadjo means "mad," "crazy," 
but more particularly "furious in battle." Fiksiko means "no 
heart," "heartless." Yahola refers to the yahola cry, a long-drawn- 
out shout uttered by the bearers of the black drink while the chiefs 
and warriors were taking it. Originally it may have been restricted 
to a class of criers but later it became "common." The tendency 
of these names to become "common" in course of time explains why 
Speck was told that hadjo, fiksilvo, imala, and yahola were all of 
equal rank." 

The first word in the title was derived from various sources, but 
there were two principal kinds. The most important set was based 
on the name of the totem animal, and in most cases it was the simple 
name of the animal itself, not a mere reference to it. Names of this 
kind were usually bestowed only upon persons belonging to clans having 
the same name, but sometimes they were allowed to those whose 
fathers belonged to that clan. Another considerable set was taken 
from names of tribes or towns, particularly those which composed 
the Creek confederacy. Sometimes they preserved the names of 
tribes or towns that otherwise would have been forgotten On the 
other hand the names of Kan liatki, Okchai, Pakan tallahassee, 
Otciapofa, and Alabama seem not to have been used, or if so only 
rarely. Only a few cases of the use of the name of Muklasa can be 
recalled. It may be added that the nameof the Toad clan, Sabaktalgi, 
also seems not to have been used. Jackson Lewis said that the non- 

'8 Speck in Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 117. 


totemic names were taken from the common names which a pei-sou's 
grandfather had used because there would not be enough totemic 
names. Another sot was formed by taking the names of the clan 
animals, the tribes and towns, and adding tlie diminutive suflbc -utci. 

Some of these titles were practically always in use and carried 
with them a certain seat and function in the square ground. For 
instance, many town cliiefs were called by the name of their town 
with the addition of the word miko, as for example Tukabahchee 
miko, Tukpafka miko. The appropriateness of others is not so 
obvious. For instance, Yuclii miko was a name used in Okchai 
while Hobayi miko was a permanent name of the Tukabahchee 
chief. This latter fact agrees well with what I was told by others, 
that the names Hobayi tastanagi and Hobayi miko were in olden 
times the most distinguished of all titles, a man having the title 
hobayi being one who underst'^od all of the strategic arts of war. 
Very few received these titles it is said. Again, in Tukabahchee the 
leader of the Imala lakalgi was always called Imala yahola, the 
leader of the tastanaeaigi Tastanak tcapko, and another of the latter 
group Tciskale'iga. 

As has been stated already, any man could receive several titles 
in succession, and the bestowal sometimes involved a change in his 
seat on the scjuare ground, though not necessarily. When my in- 
formant Jackson Lewis grew to manhood he received the name 
Tcowasta'i tastanagi, which entitled him to a seat in the south or 
Warriors' bed at Eufaula, a seat diffei'ent from the one he had up to 
that time occupied. In 1908 he received a tliird name, Aha'lak 
tastanagi, but he kept the same seat. Wlien a man became an 
Isti atca'gagi (abbreviated mto I'sti tcagagi) '*" he was not given a 
new name but was simply called over to another seat. 

The ceremony of name giving was after this manner. The leading 
men of each clan council were asked if they had a boy to name — i. e., 
a boy whose father belonged to their clan though the boy himself 
would be of another clan. If they decided that there was such a 
boy they selected a name for him and told liini what it was to be. 
Wlien the time came to confer it, which was at the busk when all 
were fasting, one of the clan leaders — a heniha according to one of 
my informants — advanced into the scjuare and announced it in a 
long-drawn-out shout, called by some by the same name as that 
given to the cry when black drink was being taken, the yahola cry. 
The boy then came forward, was given tobacco, and was then pre- 
sented to the chief in a short speech in wliich the speaker said : ' ' He is 
now your boy and you can use him for any pur]iose you desire." It 
was customary to give names m pairs. For instance, when Jackson 
Lewis received his last name, one of Mr. Grayson's sons was named 
with him. 

'»» See pp. 301-305. 




Adair tells us that an unsuccessful Chickasaw leader might be 
stripped of all his war titles. '° I was told that the Creeks did not 
do this, but in earlier times it may very well have hapi)ened. 

The following list of war names was obtained from Zachariah Cook: 

Aa hadjo. 

Abali hadjo. 

Abayali hadjo. 

Abi'ka fiksiko, "Abihka fiksiko." 

Abi'ka hadjo. 

Abi'ka yahola. 

Abi'kutci, "Little Abihka." 

Abuyak fiksiko, "Putting-down fik- 
siko" (?) 

Abuyak liadjo. 

Abuyak yahola. 

Adji yahola, "Corn yahola." 

Adji hatei fiksiko. 

Adji hatci hadjo. 

Adji hatci yahola (?). 

Ahalak fiksiko, "Potato fiksiko." 

Ahalak hadjo. 

Ahalak yahola. 

Ahalakutci, "Little Potato." 

Ahotaligo, "Clear minded." 

Akalpoisa hadjo, " Dipping-something- 
iu-under hadjo." 

AkaJopisa yahola. 

Akfaski fiksiko, "Okfuskee fiksiko." 

Akfaski hadjo. 

Aktayatci fiksiko, " Aktayatei-clan fik- 

Aktayatei hadjo. 

Aktayatci yahola. 


AtcifahaU hadjo, " Broken- (or rough-) 
countr_v hadjo." 

Baskap hadjo, (Baskap is perhaps the 
same as Paskofa, see below). 

Fus fiksiko, "Bird fiksiko." 

Fus hadjo. 

Fus yahola. 

Fus hatci fiksiko, "Bird-creek (?) 

Fus hatci hadjo. 

Fus hatei yahola. 

Hatiposa hadjo, "Victor (?) hadjo." 

Halpata fiksiko, ".Alligator fiksiko." 

Halpata hadjo. 

Heniha tastanagi. 

Heniha tcapko, "Long heniha." 

Henihutci, "Little heniha." 

n Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 3S8. 

Hilibi fiksiko. 

Hilibi hadjo. - 

Hihs fiksiko, " Medicine fiksiko." 

Hilis hadjo. 

Hobayi fiksikoK?), "Far away fiksiko." 

Hobayl hadjo. 

Hobayi yahola. 


Hoboihili fiksiko, "Good child fiksiko." 

Hoboihili hadjo. 

Hoboihili j-ahola. 

Hobuis hadjo, (Hobuis from hobuiwa, 
"child," or hobili, "fog"). 

Hola'ta fiksiko. 

Hola'ta hadjo. 

Hola'ta jahola. 


Hotalgi fiksiko, "Wind fiksiko." 

Hotalgi hadjo. 

Hotalgi imala(?) 

Hotalgi 3-ahola. 

Ifa hadjo, "Dog hadjo." 

Imedjiska hadjo, "Butt-of-tree hadjo." 

Ina tastanagi, "An ina warrior." (As 
a man went into battle he repeated 
a formula or song called "ina" which 
was supposed to preserve him from 
harm during the action.) 

Inlanis hadjo.™ 

Ispani fiksiko, "Spanish fiksiko." 

Ispani yahola. 

Itchas fiksiko, " Beaver fiksiko." 

Itchas hadjo. 

Itchas yahola. 


Itco fiksiko, "Deer fiksiko." 

Itco hadjo. 

Itco tastanagi. 

Itco yahola. 

Itco-ili hadjo, "Deer-foot hadjo." 

Itco kutcflgani, "Short deer." 

Itco-yabi hadjo, "Deer-horn hadjo." 

Itcutci, ''Little deer." 

Kaiamdlk hadjo, "Kaiamulgi hadjo." 

Kan teat hadjo. 

Kapitca fiksiko, "Lye-drip fiksiko." 

Kapitca hadjo. 

80 See p. 116. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

Kapitca yahola. 


Kasi'ta fiksiko. 

Kasi'ta hiidjo. 

Kasi'ta yahola. 

Katca fiksiko, " Panther fiksiko." 

Katca hadjo. 

Katea hola'ta. 

Katca yahola. 

Kateili, "Panther foot." 

Katcihitci, "Little panther foot." 

Kawita tastanagi, " Coweta tastanagi." 

Kinas hadjo, ("Dodging(?) hadjo")." 

Koakodji hadjo, "Wildcat hadjo." 

Koakodji yahola. 

Koasat fiksiko, "Koasati fiksiko." 

Koasat hadjo. 

Koha lako, "Big cane." 

Koha lako hadjo, "Big cane hadjo." 

Kolomi hadjo.*^ 

Kosa fiksiko, "Coosa fiksiko." 

Kosafiksikutci, "LittleCoosa fiksiko."'' 

Kosa hadjo. 

Kosa yahola. 

Kotcugani, "Short." 

Kflnip fiksiko, "Skunk fiksiko." 

Kilnip hadjo. 

Kiinip yahola. 

KAnutoi, "Little skunk." 

Lata fiksiko (Distinct from Hola'ta 

Lata hadjo. 

Lata mataha. 

Lata tcapko. 

Lata yahola. 

Litif hadjo, (litifka, (any creature) 
"shedding hair"). 

Lodja fiksiko (Lodja is supposed to 
mean "turtle," though the word is 
not pronounced exactly like that ap- 
plied to the reptile) . 

Lodja hadjo. 

Lodja yahola. 

Lalo fik.siko, "Fish fiksiko." 

Lalo hadjo. 

Lalo yahola. 

Lidjami fiksiko. 

Lidjami hadjo. 

Liwahali fiksiko. 

Liwahali hadjo. 

Mikoa hadjo, (An Alabama war name). 


Nabotci hadjo."' 

Nokos fiksiko, "Bear fiksiko." 

Nokos hadjo. 

Nokos yahola. 

Nokosadji, "Bear's tail." 

Nokosili, " Bear's foot." 

Oikas heniha, "Water (or Oil) heniha." 

Okoski (?) 

Oktahasas hadjo, "Sand-town hadjo." 

Oktcan fiksiko, "Salt fiksiko." 

Oktcan hadjo. 

Oktcan hola'ta. 

Osana fiksiko, "Otter fiksiko." 

Osana hadjo. 

Osotci fiksiko, "Osochi fiksiko." 

Osotci hadjo. 

Osotci \'ahola. 

Otcl hadjo, "Hickory nut hadjo." 

Otcls hadjo, "Otcesee hadjo." 

Otcisi tcapko, "Long (or tall) Ochesee." 

Otclsutci, "Little Ochesee." 

Pahos fiksiko, "Pahosa fiksiko." 

Pahos hadjo. 

Pahos hol.iai. 

Pahos yahola. 


Paskofa, "Ceremonial ground." 

Pin fiksiko, "Turke}' fiksiko." 

Pin hadjo. 

Sawanok fiksiko, "Shawnee fiksiko." 

Sawanok hadjo. 

Sawanok yahola. 

Tako-sa fiksiko(?), "Mole fiksiko." 

Takosa hadjo. 

Takosa yahola. 

Tal mutcas fik.siko. 

Tal mutcas hadjo. 

Tal mutcas yahola. 

Talimas fiksiko, "Public (or common) 

Talimas hadjo. 
Talimas yahola. 
Talip »5a hadjo. 
Talof hadjo, "Town hadjo." 
Talsa fiksiko. 
Talsa hadjo. 

'I Tcanasit,i moans "to dodge." 

82 This was the name of a great fire maker of the Tukabahchee. 

85 This was the name of Caley Proctor, a leader of the conservative element in the Creek nation. 
** Mr. Grayson remembered an Alabama or Koasati Indian so called. 

8s Apparently referring to an extinct tribe called Napochies by the Spaniards; see Bull. 73, Bur. .\mer. 
Ethn., p. 240. 
6!a Probably from the name of a plant, talewa; see Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 2S6 




Talsa yahola. 

Talwa hadjo, "Town hadjo." 

Tami fiksiko. 

Tanii hadjo. 

Tami yahola. 

Tapasola hadjo (abbr. Tapas hadjo), 

"Daddy-long-legs hadjo." 
Taskik hadjo, "Tuskegee hadjo." 
Taski heniha (abbr. Taskiniha).'*'' 

Tciaha hadjo, "Chiaha hadjo." 
Tciloki fiksiko (?)«5« 
Tciloki hadjo. 
Tciloki yahola (?). 
Tcito hadjo, "Snake hadjo." 
Tcugati fiksiko (Tcugati perhaps means 

Tcoska fiksiko, "Post oak fiksiko." 
Tcoska hadjo. 
Tcoska heniha. 
Tcoska yaliola. 
Tcugati hadjo. 
Tcugati yahola. 

Tcula fiksiko, "Fox fiksiko." 
Tcula hadjo. 
Tcula yahola. 
Tcuwastai hadjo. 

Totka bahi, "To apply fire" (or "To 
add fire to fire"). 

Totka bahi hadjo.'-^'' 

Totka hasi, "Old fire." 

Totkis hadjo, "Fire hadjo." 85« 

Tukaba'tci fiksiko, "Tukabahchee fik- 

Tukaba'tci hadjo. 

Tukaba'tci yahola. 

Tukotisi, "Spotted." 

Tukolis hadjo, "Spotted hadjo." 

Watula tcapko, "Tall crane." 

Woksi hadjo. 

Woksi miko (?). 

Woksi yahola. 

Wotko fiksiko, "Raccoon fiksiko." 

Wotko hadjo. 

Wotko yahola. 

Wotkotci, "Little raccoon." 

Yaha fiksiko, "Wolf fiksiko." 

Yaha hadjo 

Yaha tastanagi. 

Yahola fiksiko. 

Yahola hadjo. 


Yatawa hadjo. 

Yufala fiksiko, "Eufaula fiksiko." 

Yufala hadjo.**-^ 

Stiggins says that in the fii'st attack on Fort Mminis a party of 
Creeks rushed into tlie very center of the fort, and all were killed 
except one man who afterwards had the name bestowed upon hun by 
his town of " Na Tio mail tee o tMe hoio yer, which is the foremost man 
in danger in time of battle." ^^ 

Great numbers of Creek personal names appear in early docmnents 
and historical narratives dealing with the Southeast, but in many 
cases they are so badly misspelled or so unusual that they can not 
be translated. Sometimes it is impossible to say whether we have 
to deal with the boy's name or the war title. Among those that 
may be made out arc the following: 

Atas miko, "Atasi miko." 

Faki lasti hadjo, "Black earth hadjo, 

a Seminole chief. 

Abi'ka miko(?) 
Akfaski taski heniha. 
Albama tastanagi, "Alabama tasta- 
Asin yahola, "Black drink yahola." 

Mb Taski probably has reference to war. 

»' See p. 156 et seq. 

"■< This was the name of G. W. Grayson's father. 

"• The Creek name of Sam Moniac who figures in early Creek history and signed the treaty of 1790. 

w The Indian name of Lewis Proctor, head of the "Snake" or conservative faction among the Creeks. 

M Stiggins, jMs.: 3o maft /ce is probably Aoma'fa, "a chief or leader;" o (ft/e or /io?i, "war;" and fto bo yer 
hobayi, "far away." Mr. McCombs gives Holiboya, "War Conqueror," as a very great title. 

82517°— 2S 8 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

Fus hatci miko, probably "Bird creek 
miko," referring to the old town of 
Fus-hatehee, though the name is 
often translated "Bird Tail King," 
the words for "creek" or "river" and 
tail being much alike. An Indian 
of this name appears in the treaty 
of 1790 and another was a chief of 

Fus hatci tastanagi. 

Heniha hxko, "Big heniha," a war title 
which goes back to 1733. 

Heniha miko. 

Hilibi hadjo. 

Hobayi, "Far away." 

Hobayi hadjo. Imala. 

Hobayi miko, "Far away miko," a 
signer of the treaty of 1790. 

Hobayi tastanagi. 

HoboihlM, "Good child." 

Hoboihili hobayi. 

Hoboihit miko, "Good chQd chief." 

Hoboihili yahola. 

Hola'ta hadjo. 

Hola'ta Imala. 

Hola'ta miko. 

Holiboyi hadjo. 

Hoiiboyi miko, ' 
ishing') miko." 

Holihopoi, "War measurer." 

Hotihopoi tastanagi. 

Hotalgi Imala, "Wind imala." 

Ifa hadjo, "Dog hadjo." 

Ifa taski heniha. 

Ifa tastanagi. 

Imala hatki, "White imata. 

Imala lako, "Big imala." 

Ina tastanagi (see preceding list). 


Ispani hadjo. 

Ispokok hadjo. 

Kapitca miko. 

Kasi'ta miko. 

KasT'ta tastanagi. 

Kawita miko. 

'War killing (i. e. 'fin- 

Kosa tastanagi. 

Lidjami tastanagi. 

Liwahali taski heniha. 

Miko hobayi, "Far away miko." 


Opillo ( = Opillako) tastanagi.'"" 

Pahos miko. 

Simomltci, "Doing-it-for-tliem." 

Talahasi imala, "Old town imala." 

Talahasi miko. 

Talwa lako tastanagi. 

Tamali hadjo. 

Tamali miko. 

Tasikaia hadjo. 

Tasikaia miko. 

Taski heniha. 

Taski heniha hatki (hatki, "white"). 

Taskigi tastanagi, "Tuskegee tasta- 

Tastanagi hadjo. 

Tastanagi hobayi. 

Tastanagi miko. 

Tastanagi tcapko, "Long tastanagi." 

Tcalaki ilitci, "Cherokee killer." 

Tciaha miko, "Chiaha miko." 

Tokulgi, described as "emperor of the na- 
tion" — i. e., head chief of the Coweta 
at one period. (Cf. the common 
name Tokulki, p. 99). 

Totka ta.stanagi, "Fire tastanagi." 

Tupa hatki, "White bed." 

Waika tcumpa, "Sweet spring." 

Wakokai miko. 

Wlwo'ka miko. 

Woksi miko. 


Yahola Tmala. 

Yahola miko. 

Yakinha miko, second chief under 
Moty Kennard and his successor. 
Yakinha is perhaps from ya'kita, 
"to shout," "to whoop." 

Yufala hobayi. 

Yufala tastanagi. 

Yufala tastanagi miko. 

Yutci tastanagi (himself a Yuchi 
Indian) . 

Kosa miko(?) 

Wliile a few of these are different from any given in my list above, 
the greater number will be found there. 

The following names are also extracted from early documents and 
it is probable that some of them are war names but it is impossible 
to say. The interpretations are from Doctor Gatschet's notes. 

"• Opillako, "Big swamp," was a former Creek town; see Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 282. 




Figiya, probably meaning ''to shake 
or tremble," a Chiaha war-chief 
living in 1733. 

Hammitci, called " Old Hanimitci of 
Sntchapoka," probably Old Ham- 
mitci of Lutcapoga. 

Hopaiitci, "One going to a distance" 
from houses, etc. 

Imistisigo, "Man who has no men" 
following him, a chief who fought 
against the Americans after the time 
of the Revolution. 

Lamhi tcati, "Red Eagle," said to 
have been the name of William 
Weatherford, leader of the hostile 
Creeks in the Creek-American war. 

Lifagi, "One who punches (or stamps) " 
with his feet alternately, the name 
of a Creek chief who went to Texas 
at an early period. 

Mikonopi, or Miko unapa, "Chief on 
top of all" chiefs, the head-chief of 
the Seminole during the Seminole 

Mitikayi, "Pushing down," a war- 
chief of the Oconee. 
Opototache (or Long Side), an Indian 

of Big Tulsa who signed the Treaty 

of 1790. 
Stimafatcki, from afatiki, "glad"; a 

signer of the Treaty of 1790. 
Stmiala'tci (shortened into Mala'tcj 

or "Malachee"), "One coming into 

something of his own" (?), a 

famous head chief of the Lower 

Suta-milla, "Pointing toward the sky," 

a Chiaha war captain in 1733. 
Tamodjaidji, " Who makes one (bird) 

fl.v(?)," the famous Tomochiohi. 
Timpuitci, "Coming near," Creek name 

of the Yuchi chief Timpuchee 

Tuwidjedji, a chief of the Oconee 


Parents sometimes took their names from their children, but in 
that case they did not give up their earher names. Mr. McCombs 
told me of a case in which a woman adopted the names of tlu^ee of 
her children in succession. The oldest, whose name she had taken, 
having died, she assumed the name of the next younger, and, that 
one djTXig some time later, she adopted the name of the third. 

Clans, Phratries, and Moieties 


The clan origin stories of the Creeks were of two kinds — stories 
attempting to account for the origin of the clan system as a whole 
and stories dealing with the creation of new clans. 

Sometimes these last merely profess to explain how the exogamous 
prohibition between two linked clans came to be broken down and 
hence are not origin stories in the true sense of the term, but there is 
no clear line of demarcation between these and stories accounting 
for the existence of entirely new clans. If we could place any 
reliance upon these myths it would be easy to account for this 
confusion by considering that in all probability in many of them the 
name subsequently applied to the new clan would be assumed as 
having been already in existence. 

In connection with the cutting apart of an exogamous group the 
expression is applied, "their fire (or light) was put out." Either 
this refers to a common myth told to account for these separations 


or the myth itself has originated from the expression. I have 
heard it in several different places and in much the same form, which 
is as follows: 

"A man and a woman belonging to different clans or groups 
happened to meet at some place away from the villages and decided 
that their proper relations towards each other should be those of 
brother and sister, of com'se in the Indian sense. Late one night, 
however, after they had been camping together for some time, the 
woman took a torch and went after water. The man followed her, 
extinguished her torch, and had intercourse with her. As they could 
no longer be brother and sister their clans or groups thereafter came 
to be considered distinct." 

In Hilibi there was a story like this about a man and a woman of 
the Alligator and Turkey clans. When it was discovered what had 
taken place the people held a council and decided that henceforth 
these two clans should be one up to midnight but that at that time 
"their light should be put out" and they should be separate. The 
same thing happened in the case of some men and women of the 
Potato and Raccoon clans while they were watching the cornfields 
and their light was "put out" in consequence. Claim is made that 
these events were of recent occurrence m Hilibi but evidently the 
myth above related has merely been given a local application. 

Formerly it is claimed that the Lidjami were one people with the 
Fox, Potato, and Raccoon, but an event of the same sort as that nar- 
rated above having occurred, a council was summoned which debated 
whether the penalties usual in such cases should be inflicted. They 
decided, however, that there was perhaps some occult reason for 
this particular infringement of the law and ruled that in future the 
Lidjami should be considered akin to the other clans only untd noon. 

Okusky Miller, head man of the square ground of Chiaha Seminole, 
claimed that the Raccoon and Fox "put out their fire" as in the 
preceding cases. The offense was overlooked on the ground that the 
Fox is "a roustabout who can not be prevented from rambling around 
at night at will." It was determined that the two clans should be 
considered one in the daytime but distinct at night. 

According to Kasihta yahola, an old man of Laplako, the Turkey, 
Bird, Beaver, and Alligator were anciently one clan but became 
incestuous and separated. He had the same story to tell of the 
separation of the Raccoon and Potato people in Tukabahchee as that 
given by the Hilibi Indians. 

Of an intermediate tyjje is the following story related by a Hilibi 
Indian on the authority of an old man "now (1912) long dead." 

" The people of a certain Creek tO'WTi came out of a mountain cave. 
At the mouth of tliis cave was a root extending across it in such a 
manner that egress was to be had on either side, and half of the 


people emerged on one side, half on the other side. Those who came 
out on one side were the ^Vktayatci; those who came out on the other 
the Woksi. A part of the ^Uvtayatci, who were behind the others, 
had horns, and for this reason those who had first emerged closed the 
hole in the mountain, shutting them in permanently. 

"After the Aktayatci had gotten out they said 'We are the Potato 
people (Ahalaki),' presumably because of their origin. One of their 
women met a man in the outside world who said to her ' I belong to 
the Mud-potato people (Aha akliwahi),' and she gave him in return 
the new name which her people had adopted. ' Why,' they said, 'our 
names are nearly the same; we must be kindred.' When it was 
dark the woman lighted a fagot, and went to the creek after water. 
Then the same thing happened as in the cases already mentioned, 
and they said to each other: 'Our relationship is entirely ruined. 
Hereafter we must be enemies.' In consequence the Ahalaki and 
Aktayatci are said to be akin until noon and after that time no kin 
at all." 

The actual origin of a new clan, not merely the further separation 
of already existing clans, is claimed as having resulted from the 
actions of two persons of opposite sex belonging to the Toad clan. 
It hajjpened that the male offender was very much beloved, and the 
coimcil siunmoned to determine what was to be done agreed that 
the thing was probably fated, and they erected a new clan for the 
woman which they called the Mole clan. It is true that the Mole 
and Toad usually formed an exogamous group, but this was not 
always the case, and if we were to allow ourselves to speculate we 
might suppose that a tradition of relationship, even though of a rela- 
tionship wliich had been broken down, might give rise to a feeling 
of repugnance toward marriage between the two clans which would 
result in practically reestablishing the former exogamy.*^* 

In tliis last story an important feature to be noted is the influence 
exercised by the personal popularity of one of the offenders on the 
collective decision. It is, of course, no new experience in human 
affairs that the esteem in wliich a lawbreaker or reformer is held 
has a pronounced bearing on his subsequent treatment and the suc- 
cess of his action. Indeed, it was presented to me as a thing knowii 
to have taken place on several occasions that a man had had 
sexual relations with a woman belonging to a part of his clan marked 
off in some way from the rest, or wliich he claimed to be so 
marked off, gave her a separate clan designation, and — especially if 
he were a person of standing — succeeded in having his arrangements 
accepted by the community. It was claimed that manj^ of the 
smaller clans — among which were also mentioned the Eagle and 
Fish — had had just such an origin. 

M'Seealsop. 149. 


Of an entirely different typo is the following trivial tale which 
pretends to account for the separation between the Bear and the 

" There were two old women who were sisters, each having a 
great number of children and grandchildren. One time one sister 
said to the other: 'We have been together a long time and have 
many children; I will go this way.' The other said, 'And I will go 
this way.' All the children of the first were Wolves; the childi'en 
of the second were Bears." 

IlegardLng the origin of clanship itself, which is practically bound 
up with the origin of several of the larger clans, such as the Winil, 
Bear, Panther, Raccoon, Alligator, and Deer, there are several 
stories, some simple, some more complex, but all we have left is 
evidently only a fragment of the original mass of lore on the subject. 
Wliile I was told, as a matter of common report, by certain very 
good informants that the people of each clan were descended from 
the totem animal," such a suggestion is almost always lacking in 
the myths dealing with the subject, as, for instance, the Wolf-Bear 
myth just related. According to Legus Ferryman, each clan, or, 
rather, each exogamous division, was descended from an eponymous 
female ancestor called Bird-woman, Panther-woman, etc. The 
female ancestor of the Bear clan was not, however, named from 
the common black bear, but from one called the Howling or Whoop- 
ing Bear. The people now identify it either with the grizzly bear 
or the polar bear. 

Doctor Speck's Tuskegee informant said that clans were " created 
in the beginning by tlie Master of Breath, deriving their animal 
characteristics from certain traits displayed by beings as they passed 
in review before him. He enjoined them not to marry their own 
kind lest they die out, and since that time they have observed the 
exogamous principle." ** 

A Coweta Indian stated that in the beginning human beings and 
animals were coming across the ocean in a gar-skin boat. On the 
way the human beings named themselves after the different animals. 
One said " I belong to the Panther family," another, " I belong to the 
Bird family," and so on. They kept on this way until they were 
about to land, when all of the animals were used up. One man 
remained, however, and they said to him, "To what clan will you 
belong?" He answered, " To the clan of that which you hear making 
a noise above my head." He referred to the wind humming overhead, 
and therefore his family came to be called the Wind clan. According 
to another informant the people formerly came to a body of water, 

s" The descent of the Wind clan was explained hy saying that it came from the Skunk, the Skunk clan 
being a branch of the Wind. Also see Speck in Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assn., vol. u, p. 115. 
" Speck, in Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assn., vol. ii, p. 115 . 



and they jumped into it one after the other As they did so one 
said, "I'll be a Bird;" another, ''I'll be a Bear;" and so on. In 
accordance with still another legend, people came out from a cavern 
in the earth, and as they emerged a man standing at the entrance 
bestowed their various clan designations. In fact, they seem to have 
been in animal forms or to have been accompanied by animals, for it 
is related that when the Beaver appeared he plunged into a near-by 
pond, and on a tree by the bank the Bird was sitting. Then the Bear 
came out so fast that he slid on into the water where was the Beaver. 
That is how the clans so named came to be together as Whites.**" 

The association of the White clans in this manner brings us to a 
series of stories which seem to be versions of some common myth 
detailing the origin of at least a part of the major clans. A man 
belonging to Eufaula Hobayi said that, according to the story he had 
heard, in the ancient times people were sitting about in groups 
enveloped in darkness. When light began to break in upon them 
they caught sight of animals, first one, then another. As the various 
groups saw these they called out successively, "I will be a Bear," "I 
will be a Deer," and so on, according to the animal which first met 
their gaze. Finally a wind arose " which swept the remainder of the 
darkness away"; therefore the last group called itself the Wind clan. 

The f oUownng was told by Big Jack, a Hilibi Indian : 

" The Bird, Beaver, Panther, and Wind people were enveloped in a 
fog. The Panther was chief (miko) among them; the Beaver was his 
heniha. The Panther undertook to parch some asi {Ilex vomitoria) , 
stirring the mixture with his tail. His tail was scorched, however, 
and turned yellow, so he gave it up. The Beaver then used liis tail, 
but it got too hot and he dived into the water. The Bear then took 
his turn, rooting about in the asi with his nose. In this way the ring 
was formed which is about the nose of the bear. Aftenvard Wind 
was sent to blow away the fog, and as it was sent to them part of 
the people adopted it." 

This rather gives an account of the doings of the epon\Tnous 
animals than the origin of the clans, but the intention is to show that 
the later association between these clans was founded on events wliich 
took place at that supposedly early date. 

The following myth from the Tuggle collection is in part another 
version of the preceding, but it has additional interest as showing the 
relation of the Fish clan to the Panther and Wind. Tuggle entitles 
it " The origin of the Tiger clan." 

"In the beginning a great fog covered the earth. In a certain 
valley there was a large fountain. Close to this foimtain a tiger 
(Cooch-ar [really the panther, Katca]) lived. 

»»■■ See pp. 156-166. 


({ ' 

' The Wind came to Coochah and said : ' Wliat are you doing ? It 
is dark and gloomy.' 

''Coochah said: 'I am making my tea, my bhack drink,' and he 
stirred the tea, which he was parching, with his taih 

"The Tiger said, pointing to the fountain, 'There are my friends, 
my mates, the fishes. When I make my black drink they drink with 

"The Wind said: 'If you will make peace with me, I will blow the 
fog away and all will be bright.' 

" Coochah consented to make peace with the Wind. 

"The Wind blew the fog away and all was clear and beautiful. 

" Coochah made his tea, and his mates, the fishes in the fountain, 
drank with him. 

"They sang a song of joy and friendship, and since that time the 
Tiger clan has been at peace with the Wind clan, and Fish clan, and 
when trouble comes to one the others always give aid."*" 

The ever present element of the fog driven away by the wind ap- 
pears again in a myth related by WiUiam Mc Combs to the late 
G. W. Grayson and by him kindly placed at my disposal. It is as 
follows : 

"When the Creek Indians came to know anything of themselves, 
it was to find that they had been for a long series of generations com- 
pletely buried and covered as it were in a dense fog impenetrable to 
their powers of vision. Being unable to see, they were dependent on 
their other senses, especially that of touch, in their efforts to obtain 

"In their quest for food the people very natm-aUy became sepa- 
rated, straying away from each other in groups, and each group was 
aware of the existence and locahty of its neighbors only by calhng to 
them through the obscuring fog, each adoptmg the precaution not to 
stray out of calling distance of some other of the scattered groups. 

"After a great while there arose a wind from the east that gradually 
drove the fog from the land. The group of people who firet saw 
clearly the land and the various objects of nature now rendered visible 
by the dissipating fog, were given the name of the Wind clan. It is 
related that, among the many things they were now able to see, the 
first animate objects observed by the people of the Wind clan were a 
skimk and a rabbit which appear to have accompanied them diu-ing 
their existence m the obscm-ing fog. While the people did not adopt 
either of these as their patronymic, they did declare them their near- 
est and dearest friends. So well is this miderstood by the fuU blood 
Creek Indian, that it is universally imderstood to be the duty of 
the sons of the Wind clansmen always to extend to these animals 
protection and defense from physical injm-y or ridicule, saying 
' They are my fathers.' 

" Tuggle Coll. of myths, Mss., Bur. Amer. Etlin. 



" As the fog continued to recede and disappear before the driving 
east wind, other groups of people came to light; and, as each looked 
about, it adopted as the patronymic of the clan by which it would 
thereafter be known, the first live animal which had emerged from 
the fog along with it. 

''In this manner three other clans — the Beaver, the Bear, and the 
Bird — ^were established, who, together with the Wind, have always 
been known as Hut-hak-ul-kee [Hathagalgi] (the Whites) and recog- 
nized as leaders in the establishment and maintenance of peace in the 
nation. The Wolf clan is kindred to the Bear clan, but without the 
pohtical prestige of the latter. All the other clans, which are very 
numerous, were formed in the same manner, and are known as 
Tsi-loak-hok-ul-kee [Tcilokogalgi] (speakers of a different language) 
as distinguished from the Hut-hak-ulkee, or Whites."** 

There is a story in the Tuggle collection intended to explain the 
origin of the Bear clan specifically. It is as follows: 

"At first the Indians had no horses and when they hunted they 
traveled in canoes, carrying their wives and children. 

"One day they went up a stream and landed in a wide bottom or 
valley. They cut a trail through the woods with their knives. Then 
they sent the women and children to drive the bears towards this 
trail, and they took their stand near it so that they could see the 
bears when they ran across. 

"One of the little gu-ls while driving the bears was lost m the 
woods. The people hunted everjrwhere, but covld not find her. An 
old she-bear met her and said 'Come and live with me.' She took 
the little girl home with her and kept her four years, treating her 
as her child. 

"One day the old bear said to the little girl: 'The hunters are 
coming again with fii-e. They wiU kill me, but you must run to 
Cho [Deer] mountain. After the hunters have passed us a little 
shaggy dog wUl run to the place where we are standing and bark at 
us. Then all the other dogs will come. I will run away, but they 
will pursue me and kUl me. You must escape and, when the hunters 
have gone, you must return. You will fuid a coal of fire which the 
hunters have left. Take this fire and return to your people. They 
wUl receive you and you wiU become the mother of the Bear clan. 
Name j'our first son "Bear." ' 

"It happened as she had said. The hunters came and the old bear 
was killed. The little girl did as she was directed and escaped. She 

•o In 1924 Mr. McCombs himself told me this story and in much the same words. He expressed his 
belief that when these events took place the Muskogee were coming from the south, perhaps from South 
America, and that the fogs arose from the low, marshy countries near the sea. The first group of people 
to see the sunshine said: " We were the first to see the sunshine; therefore we shall be the first of the clans 
and shall own the wind, rabbit, and skunk." Another group saw a plot of wild potatoes and near by a 
raccoon and a toi, and therefore they had those things, and hence the Potato, Raccoon and Fox clans 
are one people. 


found the fire, started to return to her people, and on her arrival 
they ghidly welcomed her and she became the mother of the Bear 
clan." " 

This last story stands in a class by itself and is comparable to those 
stories of the origin of crests common on the north Pacific coast. 
In the other tales, the remarkable point is that most of them pro- 
fess to account for the origins of the relationships existing between 
White clans only. Mr. McCombs's reference to the Tciloki at the 
end of his narrative seems plainly an afterthought, and it is certainly 
surprising that, if extended myths accounting for the origin of the 
Tciloki were in existence, not a fr.igment has come down to us. The 
possible significance of this will be discussed later. 



This subject may well be introduced with the following quotation 
from Stiggins, who was able to observe the Creek social organization 
when it was in a state of relative completeness: 

' ' The strongest link m their political and social standing as a na- 
tion is in their clanship or families. By their observance of it they 
are so united that there is no part of the nation detached from an- 
other but [they] are all linked, harmonized, and consolidated as one 
large coimected family, for by their family prescribed rules there is 
no part of the nation in which a man can not find his clansmen or 
their connection. . . . All the clans in the nation take their family 
descent from the mother, being of the same family as the mother, 
and can only take part with that family. The father and his clan or 
family are only the father family to the children and he and his clan 
or family have no legal say or interest in the children's family con- 
cerns. **- 

The whole subject of clanship is not, however, entirely clear even 
yet, and some features of it probably never can be understood, owing 
to the death of those persons who were familiar with them and the 
breakdown of the entire institution. I have obtained the names of 
more than 50 clans, and further investigation might add to the 
mmiber, but several of these occupy a doubtful position and may 
not be true clans. In the following list I have included not merely 
the clans known to the Creek proper or Muskogee, but those of the 
Hitchiti, Alabama, Natchez, Yuclii, Timucua, and Chickasaw. 

SI Toggle Coll., Ms., Bur. Amer. Ethn. " Stiggin-S Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 28. 






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To complete our survey of the clans of the southeastern area we 
may add those of the Cherokee. Within historic times they numbered 
seven, thus named according to Mooney: Ani'-Wa"ya (Wolf), 
Ani'-Kawl' (Deer), Ani'-Tsisl^wa (Bird), Ani'-Wa'dl (Paint), Ani'- 
Saha'nl (possibly an archaic name meaning "Blue People"), Ani'- 
Gatagewi (frequently incorrectly interj)reted "Blind Savanna"), 
Ani'-Gila'lil (Long-haired People) .'' Mooney believed that at an 
earlier time there were 1 4 clans, each of the seven of the later period 
having been formed by the fusion of two. He mentions as an instance 
the fusion of the Turtle Dove and Raven to form the Bird. In a very 
early document in the Library of Congress I find the following clans 
hsted: Wolf, Deer, Bird, Paint, Blind Savanna, Long Hair, Thorn 
Bush, and Acorn. AU of these are identifiable in Mooney's list 
except the two last, one of wliich may have corresponded to his 

The Wolf, Deer, and Bird were undoubtedly equated with the 
Wolf, Deer, and Bird clans of the Creeks, and it is quite possible that 
correspondences were found for the other Cherokee divisions among 
the remaining Creek clans. The only hint as to the manner in which 
this may have been worked out is contained in information which 
I received from a Natchez informant living among the Cherokee. He 
stated that the Ani'-Wadi corresponded to the Natchez Snake clan, 
the Ani'-Sah{\ru to the Panther clan, the Ani'-Gatagewi to the Rac- 
coon clan, and the Ani'-Gila'hi to the Wind clan. 

There is fragmentary information regarding clans from the Siouan 
tribes of the east,83« the Biloxi,93b and the Chitimacha.'^'^ There 
were, of course, clans among the Tuscarora, Quapaw, Caddo, and 
some others who occupied a marginal position with reference to the 
Gulf area, but they need not be considered. 

The 0]>ossmn appears only among the Yuchi,^^ and the Squirrel 
only among the Yuchi and Cluckasaw, with the latter on the sole 
authority of Morgan."^ A "Root clan" is refei'red to by Eakins, 
whose informants probably had in mind the Potato.'*" The Muklasalgi 
are recorded only by Gatschet." As Muklasa was a former ^Uabama 
towni among the Upper Creeks it is probable that the designation 
referred properly to the people living there, irrespective of clanship. 
North of Florida the existence of a Buzzard clan rests upon oidy 
one or two doubtful statements. Speck enters it as one of those 
clans among the Yuchi the existence of which was "not generally 

" Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 19th Ann. Kept. Bur. Amer, Ethn., pp. 212-213. 508-509. 
«3» Lederer in Alvord and Bidgood, The First Explorations of the Trans-Allegheny Region by the 
Virginians, 1650-1674, p. 144. 
•s» J. O. Dorsey in 15th Ann. Kept. Bur. Ethn., pp. 243-244. 
•3' Bull. 43, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 349. 
•< Speck, Ethnol. Yuchi, p. 71. 
•» Ibid.; Morgan, Ancient Society, vol. i, p. 163. 
" Schoolcraft, In<i. Tribes, vol. i, p. 275. 
•' Qatschet, Mig. Leg., vol. I, p. 156. 


agreed upon " by his informants."' So far as the Muskogee are con- 
cerned the idea that there was such a clan may have arisen from the 
simihirity between "Sulalgi" (Buzzard people) and "Tculalgi" (Fox 
people) , although in his list of Tuskegee clans Speck includes both. 
However, its undoubted existence and important position in Florida 
render a northward extension among the Creeks not unpossible. 
Hitchcock is our sole authority for an Owl clan and the intimate 
association of this bird with witchcraft renders its adoption as an 
emblem by a social group in the highest degree unprobable. Stiggins 
states that the Red Paint was one of the nine principal clans of the 
Muskogee-'^ Since he himself had Muskogee, or rather Natchez, 
blood and grew up in the Creek Nation his authority ought to be 
good, but I am inchned to beheve that he had borrowed this name 
from that of the corresponding Cherokee clan. Possibly the Chero- 
kee division was identified with some particular clan among the 
Creeks which in consequence sometimes received its name. In that 
case it was probably identified with a different clan from that equated 
with it by the Natchez.' Adair is our only authorit}^ for a Raven 
clan,2 and Gatschet our only authority for the Walakalgi.^ For 
each of the names Sitcotcapkalgi, Lialgi, Nokfahalgi, Asunalgi, 
Kantalalgi, and Hilisalgi, I have the authority of but one informant. 
The Sitcotcapkalgi was mentioned by an old Tukabahchee Indian, 
the Inlanisalgi, and Lialgi, by a Seminole; the Nokfahalgi, Asunalgi, 
and Kantalalgi by an informant who, although a Seminole by birth, 
had hved most of his hfe with the people of Lutcapoga; and the 
Hilisalgi by an old Laplako Indian now dead. The Lutcalgi (Turtle, 
or rather, Tortoise) was remembered by one or two of my informants, 
besides being mentioned by Adair,* and, as may be seen in the table, 
it also occurs among the Yuclii.^ Several informants remembered 
Yanasalgi as the name of an ancient clan, and it is given by Adair 
and MacCauley." The Fish clan is referred to by Adair,' was re- 
membered by an old woman of the Texas Alabama and several 
Creeks of Oklahoma in 1912, and is given by Doctor Speck in his 
list of Yuchi clans.* The writer also heard of it as a Yuchi clan, 
and formerly it seems to have been strong among the Lower Creeks. 

" Speck, Ethnol. Yuchi, p. 71. 

» Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Nair., p. 28. 

' See p. 118. 

' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 131. Hi6 remarks at this point are so general that it is uncertain who the 
people were among whom this clan eiisted. The same is true of his references to the Turtle and Bison clans. 
In the case of the Raven clan, he may have had in mind the former Raven clan of the Cherokee or the 
Blackbird dan of the Chickasaw, though the existence of this last is somewhat in doubt. 

3 Gatschet, op. cit., p. 56. In his Ms. vocabulary he suggests an origin from the term aualita, to share 
out or divide, the word which also appears in Hoiiwahali. 

* Adair, op. cit., p. 15. 

6 Speck, loc. cit. 

• Adair, loc. cit.; 5th Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethn., p. 607 

7 Adair, loc. cit. 
' Speck, loc. cit. 


One of my informants stated that there was once a Dragonfly clan, 
but it developed that he had confused the name for dragonfly, 
ttipasana', with tliat for daddy-longlegs, tapohsala. The remaining 
clans are known to all of the older people. 


It must not be supposed, even after we have taken out the obscure 
groups, that the remaining clans were so many distinct entities equal 
in importance and unconnected. The vast majority of the popula- 
tion was in fact supposed to belong to a comparatively small number 
of major divisions, which we should probably call phratries, although, 
with few exceptions, they had no common name. In fact, only two 
doubtful cases of phratral naming have come to my attention. The 
appellation Sawanogalgi, "Shawnee people," is said to have been given 
to the Aktayatcalgi, Raccoon, and Fox clans, and perhaps also to the 
Potato. This was not because there was believed to be any blood 
relationship between the individuals composing these clans and the 
Shawnee but because the Shawnee were thought to have supernatural 
power — particularly that of rendering themselves invisible — devel- 
oped very higlily, and the clans thought that by assuming the name 
they could attract to themselves some of the same power. The 
reason why the term was appropriated to this particular set of clans 
is because the chiefs of Tukabahchee belonged to it, and, as we shall 
see, relations between the Shawnee and the Muskogee of this town 
were particularly intimate. In a more extended sense the name 
Sawanogalgi was assumed by the entire Tukabahchee tribe during 
the busk ceremonial. In important busk speeches, speeches de- 
livered just before ball games, etc., the orator would say, "I am of 
the Sawanogi." 

The second case depends entirely upon the correctness of a state- 
ment by Stiggins, who enumerates nine constituent clans of the Creek 
confederacy, the last being "the isfauna (Isfanalgi) which is composed 
of many small clans." ' Today the Isfanalgi are barely remembered 
but Gatschet heard of them,'" and they are the Kasihta clan "Is- 
tau-nul-gee" referred to by Hawkins in his sketch, as well as the 
"Spanalgee" of Hilibi town to which he states that Robert Grierson's 
wife belonged." Perhaps they were connected with the Ishpani or 
Sfani totemic division among the Cliickasaw which sometimes gave 
its name to one of the two great moieties in that tribe.'- This 
does not have the appearance of a native Indian word, and there is 
every reason to believe it is intended for "Spanish." Such an inter- 
pretation is strengthened by the fact that one of my informants 

» .stiggins, Ms. Ilist. Narr., p. 28. 

>' Oatschet, Creek Mig. Leg., vol. i, p. I5«. 

" Hawkins, in Oa. Hist. Soc, Colls., vol. iii, p. 156; vol. ix, p. 31. 

13 Mentioned by Adair. Hist. Am. Inds., p. 31. 


socl-Uj organization 121 

thought the proper designation of the clan was Nokfilalgi, a name 
originally applied to a mythic animal but later given to the white 
people. We must be a little cautious about this, however, because 
some of Gatschet's aged informants told him that properly the Nok- 
filalgi were a native tribe which tlisappeared long ago.'^ If the inter- 
pretation is correct we should naturally suppose that the clan originated 
in early intermarriages between Indians and Spaniards, but the 
purely conventional use of Sawanogalgi warns us against placing 
too much reliance upon such an hypothesis. 

Clans were linked together into phratries in various ways. Many 
were small and were considered merely as minor branches of some 
large clan; others were coordinate in size and importance, though not 
necessarily of ecjual importance in every town. Some appear to have 
been almost entirely confined to certain villages, while others were 
represented nearly everywhere. Still more remarkable is the fact, 
hardly paralleled elsewhere, that the very same clans were often 
linked into a phratry in some towns and separated m others, sometimes 
even linked with different clans. The relationship of certain clans 
was recognized practically throughout the nation, but in the case of 
many others there was no such uniformity. We may divide the 
associations which we find into three classes: (1) The affiliations of 
obscure clans for which we have perhaps the authority of but one or 
two persons; (2) associations recognized almost universally; and (3) 
associations which varied from one town to another. 

Of the first class were the Nolcfahalgi, Asunalgi, and Kantalalgi, 
said to be Lower Eirfaula clans affiliated with the Bear. A Seminole 
informant stated that the name Asunalgi refeiTcd to the asi or black 
drink ; another maintained that it was from Spanish moss, asunwa. 
Both of these informants, however, agreed that this clan belonged 
with the Bear, and the former added that it was because the female 
bear, when she is going to bring forth her cubs, pulls down asi bushes 
for a bed ; hence the asi was said to be the bear's grandparent. The 
Inlanisalgi were connected with the Bird clan. One of my informants 
knew an old man who claimed that he belonged to the Hilislagi or 
Medicine clan. He classed lumself with the Bird people and this was 
natural since the Bu'd was a Wlrite or Peace clan with which we should 
expect medicme to be associated. The Turtle clan (Lutcalgi) is said 
to have been connected with the Wind. On one occasion, when a man 
belonging to the Wildcat clan was being tried m an Indian court, 
a prospective jmyman presented himself who said that he belonged 
to the Lialgi or "Ai-row people." As he claimed that this clan was 
connected with the Wildcat and Panther he was excused from service. 

According to an old man, people were on one occasion about to kiU 
the mink but he escaped into the cane, therefore the Mink clan 

» See p. 61. 

82517°— 28 9 


claimed to be connected with the Cane. According to another old 
man, however, the Mink was akin to the Beaver. Jackson Lewis, one 
of the best of my informants, aflirmod that the Cane clan was "kindred 
to and nearly the same as the Raccoon clan," while an old Seminole 
connected it with the Beaver and Potato. When we remember that 
tlie Raccoon and Potato were often classed together we see a reason 
for the association of this set of clans — Mink, Cane, Beaver, Raccoon, 
and Potato. According to another informant, the Cane clan in 
Kealedji was associated with tlie Mole, Raccoon, Potato, Fox, and 
Lidjamalgi clans, which agrees with the statement of Jackson Lewis; 
but I learned that in the Hitchiti town among the Seminole it was 
placed in one group with the Deer, Panther, and Pahosalgi. This 
would be an altogether different classification from that given by the 
others. According to Jackson Lewis, the Hickorynut clan was 
kindred to the Eagle. The Tcowastalgi were either identical with 
the Potato clan or, what is more probable, closely associated with it. 
At some period in the not remote past the Fox and Daddy-longlegs 
clans are said to have united into one which afterwards received the 
name Raccoon. This did not involve the Texas Alabama, and in any 
case can only have meant that the Fox and Daddy-longlegs combined 
with an already existing Raccoon clan.'* The Yanasalgi are thought, 
for what reason I know not, to have belonged among the TcQoki clans 
to be discussed presently. Nothing more has been preserved regard- 
ing the connection of this clan, or the aJTdiations of the Atcialgi, 
Okilisalgi, Sidjotcapkalgi, or Walakalgi, while, as we have seen, those 
of the Sulalgi and Muklasalgi are in doubt. The name Okilisalgi is, 
uncertainly, said to refer to the weevil (atci-suklaitca) , but this seema 
rather far-fetched and Gatschet's suggestion that it was an attempt 
at "English" is attractive in view of the seeming identification of 
a Spanish clan.'^ 

Before giving an accoimt of the other clan associations — (2) and 
(3) — it will be necessary to explain a Creek institution which has 
an important bearing on this question. At the time of the annual 
ceremonial called the busk it was customary for each clan, or each 
set of clans considering themselves related, to hold a council and Usten 
to an address from its oldest or ablest "uncle" (pawa), who reviewed 
the events of the preceding year, praised those who had done well, and 
rej)rimanded and even threatened those who had done badly. It 
sometmies happened, however, that a clan was too weak in numbers 
to maintain a council of its own, in which case it would examine the 
speakers of the different coimcils and, choosing one who ajjpeared to 
be particularly good, its leaders would approach the leaders of that 
particular council and say, "We will be with you and join you Ln 
your councils." Children brought up together and catechised to- 
gether in this manner usually considered themselves brothers and 
sisters and it was not thought right for them to intermarry, but the 

" See p. 154. " Gatschet, Creek Mig. Leg., vol. i, p. 155; Ms. vocab. 



rulti appears not to have been maintained with absolute rigidity in 
the cases of the large, well-recognized clans which might happen to be 
reduced sometimes to the necessity of resorting to this expedient. 
Nevertheless the institution tended toward the development of exog- 
amous bodies differing considerably in composition in the different 
towns, and it is no doubt accountable for tlie peculiar inconsistencies 
among them alreaily noted. 

In the subjoined list I give the clan councils in all of the Creek and 
Seminole towns from which I was able to obtain information. Some 
towns are so nearly extinct that mistakes have undoubtedly been 
made, but the list embodies the best information to be had. Where 
two informants have been consulted and the testimony of these has 
differed considerably I have inserted the conflicting lists, numbering 
them U) and (2). 

Clan Councils by Towns 


Otciapofa — Continued. 

White toums 

7. Bear. 


8. Aktayatci. 

1. Raccoon, Aktayatci. 

9. Raccoon. 

2. Bear. 

10. Deer. 

3. Wind. 

Tulsa Little River: " 

4. Bird. 

1. Bird, Eagle. 

5. Alligator, Beaver." 

2. Deer, Pahosa, Panther, Kapi- 

6. Deer. 


7. Panther. 

3. Wildcat. 


4. Potato. 

1. Bird, Alligator, Beaver. 

5. Raccoon. 

2. Bear, Panther, Wind. 

6. Aktayatci. 

3. Deer. 

7. Wind. 

4. Raccoon. 

8. Bear. 

Kan-tcati : 

9. Beaver. 

1. Potato, Raccoon. 

10. Otter.'s 

2. Deer. 

Lutcapoga (1): 

3. Panther. 

1. Potato, Raccoon. 

4. Wind. 

2. Alligator, Tami. 

5. Bear. 

3. Aktayatci. 

6. Alligator. 

4. Bird. 

7. Bird. 

5. Beaver. 

8. Beaver (but perhaps placed 

6. Bear. 

with the Bird). 

7. Wind. 

Otciapofa : 

S. Deer. 

1. Panther. 

Lutcapoga (2) 

2. Potato. 

1. Raccoon, Potato, Tcowasta, 

3. Tami. 


4. Wind. 

2. Aktayatci. Kapitca, Eagle. 

5. Pahosa. 

3. Bear," Bird, Beaver.™ 

6. Beaver. 

4. Wind. 

" The number of Beaver people in this town was very small. 

1' The Turkey was also represented here, but its relations are unknown. 

18 The classification of the Kapitca in this group seems very doubtful. One informant also separated the 
Pahosa from it, but with less reason, as may be seen if we compare the associations of the Deer and Pahosa 
in other places. 

'» The presence of an Otter clan here depends on the testimony of one informant, although a very good 
one, who stated that in this town, unlike some others, the Beaver and Otter people intermarried. 

^ In the Tulsa towns, unlike most others, the Beaver and Bird seem to have preserved their independence 
and therefore informant 2 is probably wrong. Which informant is right regarding the Bird and Bear it is 
impossible for me to determine. 




1. Potato, Raccoon. 

2. Alligator, Turkey, Tami. 

3. Deer, Pahosa. 

4. Bear. 

5. Bird. 

0. Beaver. 

7. Wind. 

8. Panther. 

9. Aktayatci. 

1. Potato, Raccoon, Fox, Akta- 

yatci, Woksi, Eagle, Kapitca. 

2. Wind, Skunk. 

3. Bear, Wolf. 

4. Bird, Beaver. 

5. Alligator, Tami, Turkey. 

6. Deer, Pahosa, Mole. 

7. Panther, Wildcat. 

1. Bear. 

2. Wind. 

3. Bird. 

4. Beaver. 

5. Deer. 

6. Panther. 

7. Alligator. 

8. Raccoon. 
Pakan tallahassee 


Wioguf ki (2) : 

1. Bear, Beaver, Bird, 
Tami, Turkey. 
Raccoon, Potato. 
Panther, Wildcat. 



1. Bird, 

Bird, Bear, Wolf. 
Wind, Aktayatci.2i 
Panther, Wildcat. 
Alligator, Tami, Turkey (?). 

Pakan tallahassee (2) : 

1. Bird, Bear, Beaver, Alligator, 

Tami, Turkey. 

2. Wind, Skunk. 

3. Deer. 

4. Raccoon. 

5. Panther. 

6. Aktayatci. 
Wioguf ki (1): 

1. Raccoon, Potato(?). 

2. Alligator, Tami, Snake. 

3. Bird, Pahosa. 

4. Kapitca, Aktayatci. 

5. Wind. 

6. Beaver. 

7. Bear. 

8. Deer. 

Bear, Beaver, Alligator, 
Turkey, Tami, Deer(?)."° 

2. Raccoon, Potato. 

3. Panther.^'" 

4. Wind. 

5. Aktayatci. 

(Okchai and talogalga were probably 

the same as Asilanabi.) 

1. Raccoon, Potato, Teowasta, 


2. Panther, Wildcat. 

3. Wind, Skunk. 

4. Bear, Bird, Wolf. 

5. Alhgator, Turkey, Tami, Snake^ 


6. Deer, Pahosa. 

7. Aktayatci.22 

1. Beaver, Alligator, Tami. 

2. Potato, Raccoon, Aktayatci. 

3. Panther, Wildcat. 

4. Bird. 

5. Wind. 

6. Bear. 
Koa.sati No. 2: 

1. Wind, Bear (and all Whites). 
I 2. Raccoon, Alligator, Beaver, 

Bird, Panther, Deer, Akta- 
yatci, Daddy-longlegs (and 
all Tciloki). 

Red toivns 

1. Panther, Wildcat, Aktayatci. 

2. Raccoon, Eagle.-* 

3. Potato, Fox. 

4. Alligator, Turkey, Tami, 


5. Wind, Skunk 

6. Deer. 

7. Bird, Beaver, Otter.^' 

8. Bear. 

" The association of the Wind and .\ktayatei seems iinprohalile. 

2i» But see p. 149 for a probable Deer-Panther association at Okchai. 

!! The .\ktavatci perh.ips belong in group 1. , „ , j i>„v,i-if ,.i„r,= 

» speck not^s in this town also the Deer, Fox, Mink, Snake, Buzzard. Skunk, and Rabbit clans. 

!< Some place the Potato in this group. 

!i There'is some uncertainty as to the position of the Otter. 




Atasi (very defective) : 

1. Alligator, Turkey. 

2. Bear. 

Bird, Beaver (?). 

8. Raccoon, Potato. 

1. Mole, Raccoon, Potato.^" Fox, 

■Lidjinii, Kohasa. 

2. Skunk, Wind. 

3. .Alligator, Tami, Turkey, Woksi. 

4. Aktayatci. 

5. Bear, Wolf. 

6. Bird, Beaver. 

7. Deer. 

8. Panther. 

1. Pahosa, Deer. 

2. Beaver, Bear, Bird.2' 

3. Panther, Wildcat. 

4. Aktayatci, Kapitca (?). 

5. Raccoon. 
.\lligator, Tami, Turkey. 




Alabama (1): 

1. Aktayatci, Deer. 

2. Bear. 

3. Wind. 

4. Beaver. 
Alabama (2) : 

1. ."Alligator, Wind, Bird, Turkey, 


2. Bear, Salt, Panther,'' Wildcat.^' 
Alabama in Texas: 

1. Deer, Wolf .32 

2. Panther, Wildcat. 

3. Bear, Salt. 

4. Alligator, Daddy-longlegs, Bea- 

ver, Turkey. 

5. Wind, Skunk. 


While towns 

1. Potato, Tami, Aktayatci, Alli- 

gator, Fox, Raccoon, Beaver. 

2. Wind, (?). 

3. Bear, Wolf. 

4. Panther. 

5. Deer.3< 

6. Mole. 

1. Pahosa, Mole, Deer. 

2. Bird, Beaver, .\lligator, Tami, 
Snake, Otter, Aktayatci. 



Tami, Alligator. 
Deer, Panther. 
Bear, Wolf. 
Beaver, Bird. 
Potato, Raccoon, 



Raccoon, Potato. 
.\lligator, Turkey, Tami. 
Bear, Wolf. 

Deer. Okmulgee:'' 

Upper Eufaula:2» 1 

1. Aktayatci, Potato, Raccoon. 2, 

2. Wind, Skunk. 3 

3. Bear, Wolf, Bird (?). 4. 

4. Panther. 6. 
6. Deer. 
6. Tami, Turkey, Alhgator. 6. 

" According to one informant tile Potato belonged in group 3. 

'^ There were also some of the Potato elan; associations unknown. 

" An inferior informant classified the Bird and Bear separately. 

" The Beaver clan was also represented here formerly: it sat with the Wind, Bear, Wolf, and Bird, but 
whether it was liniied with any or all of these is uncertain. 

" The association of .\ktayatci and Wind seems improbable, but one other case of the kind has been 
noted (see Pakan tallahassee). 

^' There were very few representatives of these clans in Alabama. 

''• The only representatives of the Wolf clan living in 1912 were descended from the Pascagoula tribe of 

" The Bird clan was also represented in this town, but I did not obtain its linkage, though it sat with 
the Deer. 

^ Sat with 1 but could intermarry with them. 

" Legus Perryman, probably referring to this town, said that the Raccoon, .Aktayatci, and Alligator 
formed one council, a statement which, il true, would bring 1 and 5 together. The late David Hodge, who 
belonged to Okmulgee, declared that the Bird, Deer, and .\ktayatci clans were all related, the women of 
those clans calling each other "sisters." This was denied by Perryman and seems improbable in the 
light of what we know of these clans elsewhere, although it is possible that the first two were so connected. 


IZATION AND tJSAGE.S [ktii. ann. 42 



1. Panther, Wildcat, Deer, Mole, 


While towns 

2. Bird, Snake, Alligator, Turkey, 


Tami, Beaver, Kapitea. 

1. Aktayatci, Alligator, Snake, 

3. Wind. 


4. Bear, Wolf. 

2. Wind, Otter. 

5. Raccoon, Potato. 

3. Bear, Wolf. 

6. Aktayatci. 

4. Potato, Bird, Beaver, Rac- 


coon (?). 

1. Bear, Wolf. 

5. Panther. 

2. Deer, Wind, Skunk, Panther, 

6. Deer. 



3. Alligator, Fish, Beaver. 

1. Bird, Beaver. 

4. Bird. 

2. Bear, Deer, Pahosa, Potato, 

Red towns 
Coweta (1): 

1. Deer, Panther, Wildcat. 

3. Alligator, Snake, Kapitca, Ak- 

2. Bird, Beaver. 


3. Raccoon, Fox, Potato, Tami, 

4. Panther. 

Aktavatci, Alligator, Turkev. 

5. Wind. 

4. Wind. " 


5. Bear. 

1. Beaver, Potato. 

Coweta (2) : 

2. Tami, Alligator, Turkey. 

1. Deer, Panther, Wildcat. 

3. Aktayatci, Kapitca, Snake. 

2. Bird, Beaver, Wind, Bear. 

4. Wind (possibly with last). 

3. Raccoon, Fox, Potato, Tami, 

5. Bear. 

Aktayatci, Alligator, Turkey. 

6. Bird. 

Lower Eufaula: 

7. Deer, Panther. 

1. Wind, Otter, Skunk, Mole, 

Hitchiti Seminole: 

Tcokote, ToadC?). 

1. Wind, Skunk, Otter. 

2. Bear, Nokfaha, Wolf, Salt, 

2. Bird, Aktayatci, Snake, AUi- 

Fresh-land, Asunwa. 

gator, Tami. 

3. Aktayatci, Kapitca, Snake, .Alli- 

3. Deer, Panther, Kohosa (Cane?), 

gator, Woksi. 

4. Bird, Beaver, Tami. 

5. Deer,, Turkev, Panther, 



4. Bear, Wolf. 

5. Toad, Tcokote, Mole. 

6. Fox, Raccoon, Potato. ■ 

6. Beaver, Potato. 


Red towns 

1. Raccoon, Potato, Fox, .\kta- 


2. Wolf, Bear, Deer(?). 


1. Alligator, Tami, Turkey, Ka- 

3. Panther 

pitca, Snake, Aktayatci. 

4. Bird. 

2. Deer (probably including the 

5. Wind, Skunk, Fish. 

Pahosa) . 

6. Beaver. 

3. Raccoon. 

7. Alligator, Tami. 

4. Potato. 


5. Panther. 

(AU that is known is that the Pan- 

6. Wind. 

ther and Wildcat and the Bear and 

7. Bear.3« 

Wolf did not intermarry.) 

8. Bird.s" 

'" There were a ft'w people of the Bird clan and one belonging to the Bear which had not been definitely 
placed, perhaps because in recent years no occasion had arisen which demanded definite allocation. 





1. Wind, Skunk. 

2. Raccoon, Fox. 

3. Potato. 

4. Bird. 

5. Bear. 

6. Aktayatci. 

7. Alligator. 

8. Deer. 

9. Beaver. 


1. Beaver, Otter, Bird, Turkey, 

Tami, Bear, Salt. 

2. Wind. 

3. Deer, Pahosa. 

4. Potato, Raccoon.^' 

5. Panther. 

6. Aktayatci, AUigator, Snake, 

Mikasuki: (Unobtainable.) 

The facts are now before us; let us proceed to an analysis of them. 
In the following table I have recorded the number of times each 
association of any two clans takes place, and the nmnber of times 
any two clans are recorded in each town unassociated. UC stands 
for "Upper Creeks," A for '"Alabama," K for "Koasati," LC for 
"Lower Creeks," H for "Hitchiti," Y for "Yuchi," and S for 
"Seminole." To. = " Total." 

^ Another iuformaDt stated that the Potato and Raccoon clans were anciently classed with the Bird. 















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[ETII, ANN. 42 


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[ETH. ANN. 42 















1—4 1— ( 




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Cane and Lidjarni 



The Bear and Wolf were associated almost everjrwhere. The latter, 
while very much smaller, was, strangely enough, called the "uncle" 
of the former, which in turn was its "nephew." The Wildcat 
and Panther were also associated and again it was the smaller, 
the Wddcat, which was the "uncle."^' Tliis was also true of the 
Skunk, wliich was always reckoned as part of the Wind and was the 
"uncle" of it. Such a connection is remembered even by the Ala- 
bama in Texas. A well-nigh universal association was also formed 
between the Alligator, Tami, and Turkey. In this group the Tami 
were said to be the "uncles" by one informant and the Alligator by 
another. While the other associations appear to be natural, indicated 
by the related nature of the animals, one is at first puzzled to know 
what connection could have been found between the Alligator and the 
Turkey. The word tami suggests a large flying thing, hence the 
connection of Tami and Turkey is explicable. According to one 
informant the linking of the other two was because both the alligator 
and the turkey come from eggs, and if this was the real reason the 
Creeks had made one step toward determining those intimate relations 
wliich we now know to exist biologically between birds and reptiles. 
In connection with the use of terms of relationship for entire clans 
Stiggins's remark to the efi'ect that "all grown women of the Wind 
family are to be called grandmother by all the other families" is 
of value. "All the families," he adds, "are connected as friends or 
some distant relation throughout the nation."^" In liis version of the 
migration legend Hawkins's Kasihta informant says that the Coweta 
Indians chose the Fish clan to supply their chiefs,*" and in Gatschet's 
plan of the Kasihta square ground it occupies the northern half of 
the chiefs' arbor and is given as that from which the "vice-chief" was 
chosen." Jackson Lewis told me that it was kindred to the Alligator, 
and my Yuchi informant placed it in one phratry with the Alligator 
and Beaver. The Coweta and Kasihta Indians declared, however, 
that it was a minor branch of the Wind clan, and this seems to be the 
general opinion. It is borne out to some extent by Hawkins's state- 
ment quoted above, coupled with the fact that in later times Coweta 
chiefs were selected from the Wind. The same thing is perhaps 
indicated by the further fact that in Kasihta it seems to have shared 
the functions of heniha with the Wind. Some Creeks deny that there 
was a Rabbit clan, and explain the use of such a term as a mere joke, 
since the Rabbit was "trickster" among all southeastern Indians. 
Others, however, and apparently the better informed, affirm that 

3* In explanation of this association Mr. McCombs told rae that all creatures with claws were considered 
kindred and hence the clans named from them were also akin, out this would apply equally to the Bear, 
Panther, Raccoon and others which were rarely brought together. 

" Stiggins. Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 2S. 

" Hawkins, Oa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 82; see p. 60. 

" Qatschet, Mig. L*g., vol. n, p. 188. 


tliore was really u clan of the luiinc and that, like the Skunk and Fish, 
it was a minor division of the Wind. Among the llitchiti-speaking 
p(H)ple and the Lower Eufanla Indians were three small clans called 
Mt)le, Toad, and Teokote. The two former are uniformly said to have 
belonged together.''- According to one of my informants the Teokote 
was distinct, but those better qualified to pass an opinion declared 
that it belonged to the same group and one went so far as to state that 
Teokote was another name for the Toad clan. The way in which the 
Mole is said to have split from the rest has been already related. The 
Mole and Toad — and the Teokote also, if the majority of my infor- 
mants are correct — usually formed one phratry with the Deer. 

A most perplexing complex included the Fox, Raccoon, Potato, 
and Aktayatci. Some of the older people state that in their youth 
the Fox clan was much more prominent but declined in later years, 
while the Raccoon and Potato clans rose into prominence in its place. 
I have already mentioned the supposed origin of the Raccoon from 
the union of the Fox and Daddy-longlegs and my reasons for doubting 
it, but there can be no question regarding the close connection that 
existed between the two former, for in eight of the nine cases in 
which the Fox clan is mentioned in my lists it belongs to the same 
phratry as the Raccoon. The connection between the Potato and 
Fox was equally close; according to my records they were in separate 
phratries in only one town, and that a settlement of the Seminole. 
The Raccoon and Potato clans intermarried in Tukabahchee, at 
least in late times, but almost everywhere else they were considered 
to belong to one phratry. In Laplako the Raccoon people were 
denominated "imcles" by the Potato people. The only other excep- 
tions which my lists contain are from towns where the information is 
least trustworthy. According to Legus Ferryman the Potato clan 
had come from the Raccoon; in fact he gave this as an occurrence 
which "all admit." The same informant also stated, as a fact 
''well knowTi," that the Aktayatci clan had come from the Fox, 
but this is in the highest degree doid)tful, though it is true that in 
some towns the Aktayatci was linketl up with the Fox as well as the 
Raccoon and Potato. In fact the Aktayatci is found in three dif- 
ferent positions — independent, associated with the Raccoon, Fox, 
and Potato, or associated with the Alligator and their allies and the 
Snake. In Kasihta, Coweta, and one or two other to^\iis the three 
groups are brought together in one phratry, this clan perhaps being 
the ground of the association. Among Seminole towns the associa- 
tion of the Aktayatci with the Alligator and Snake is especially 
marked, and this can be accounted for very well if the explanation 
of the name Aktayatci given me by an old vSeminole is correct. He 
interpreted it to mean "something traveling about," reference being 

" Qatschet's informants and mine all agreed on this. 



intended to the water moccasin. EJnowing as we do how often 
secondary interpretations are given by primitive people to terms 
the actual meaning of which has been forgotten we can not feel 
sure that this explanation is the true one, but there is reason to 
believe that it represents the opinion of the Lower Creeks and Semi- 
noles among whom the association took place and therefore it at 
least gives their justification for that particular association." It 
also explains the association of the Aktayatci and Alligator. In 11 
cases they are placed in the same phratry; in 20 cases they are 

It should be noticed that this linkage takes place principally in 
Lower Oeek and Seminole towms, while the separation is mainly 
among the L^pper Creeks. The Kapitca, a name which by some is 
interpreted "lye drip" or "ashes," also appear oftenest among the 
Seminole, though they are mentioned as well in six L'pper Creek towns, 
one Lower Creek town, and one Hitchiti town. In all but 3 of the 13 
towTis in which they and the Aktayatci occur together the two are in 
the same plu-atry, and one of the exceptions is a town with an imper- 
fect record. They are associated with the Snake clan in 7 out of 9 
cases. The Woksi were a comparatively obscure clan not recorded 
from many towns. Jackson Lewis said that they were "almost the 
same" as the Aktayatci. They are in fact found in the same group 
with this clan and the Kapitca in Abihkutci and Lower Eufaula. 
In Kealedji they are separated and put with the Alligator, but, 
knowing the frequent association of the Alligator and Aktayatci, 
this is susceptible of explanation. The Daddy-longlegs is one of 
those clans most largely represented among the Texas Alabama, but 
it is barely remembered by the Alabama and Koasati of Oklahoma. 
According to a Koasati informant in Oklahoma this clan was "the 
same as the Aktayatci and Alligator," and his statement is important 
because it agrees with the classification remembered by the Texas 
Alabama in accordance with which they formed one phratry with 
the Alligator, Tui-key, and Beaver. The Lid j ami was a small clan 
which seems to have been found principally in Tukabahchee, 
Kealedji, and some related towns. According to current report they 
were a branch of the Raccoon. Another clan connected with the 
Raccoon was the Eagle. One of my informants placed this with the 
Bird, a natm-al enough assumption, but that he was mistaken is 
showTi both by the direct testimony of better informed individuals 
and by certain supplementary considerations. In the first place 
Jackson Lewis, whose evidence is always valuable, stated that tliis 
was the leader among the Tciloki clans, in the dual division to be 
explained presently. The Bird, on the contrary, was one of the 

" The prefix ak- signifies motion into water or something down in the water and hence bears out the 
suggestion very well. Ayatci means "to travel about" but this leaves the t unexplained. Perhaps 
tayatci comes rather from tayat, abundant, sufficient. 


leading clans on tho opposite side, and, as a mark of this distinction, 
in the tcitahaia, the so-called "feather dance," those who belonged 
on tlic Tciloki sidc^ carried eagle feathers '"" on their wands while those 
who belonged on the opposite side, the White side, carried wliite 
crane feathers. The leading position ascribed to the Eagle by Jack- 
son Lewis is explained by Hawkins's statement to the effect that in 
his day the chiefs of Tukabahchee, the leading town of the Upper 
Creeks, were selected from it." At the present time, however, 
Tukabahchee chiefs are selected from the Raccoon clan, a fact easily 
accounted for if the Eagle and Raccoon were closely related. Indeed, 
one of my best informants gave this very reason. In my lists the 
Eagle and Raccoon are found classed together at Abihkutci. At 
Lutcapoga it is said that the Eagle was placed with the Aktayatci 
and Kapitca, but, as we have seen, these were sometimes classed 
with the Raccoon and Potato. The Salt clan seems to have been 
particidarly prominent in the Alabama tribe. Legus PerrjTnan 
stated that it was a branch of the Bear, and he is confirmed in every 
one of the four instances in which the two names occur together in 
my lists. It is particularly important to obeserve that this associa- 
tion is preserved by the Alabama Indians in Texas. Jackson Lewis 
classed the Otter with "the Alligator and other water clans," and 
one might naturally expect it, but as a matter of fact in tliree of the 
seven cases which I have recorded it is placed in one phratry with 
the Wind and Skunk, while in tlu-ee of the others it is with the Bird 
and Beaver. AR of these clans are White clans; I am therefore of 
the opinion that the Otter was also considered a Wliite clan and was 
attached to the others on account of some supposed resemblance to 
the Skunk and Beaver. 

Native informants generally state that the Pahosa are the same as, 
a part of, or kindred to, the Deer, and this testimony is confirmed by 
my lists where the two clans are linked together in 11 out of 13 
cases in which they are both mentioned, the two exce]>tions being 
probably duo to imperfect information from the towns concerned. 
According to Kasihta yahola the Deer people called the Pahosa their 
"uncles" and the Pahosa called the Deer people their '"nephews." The 
connection of the Mole, Toad, and Tcokote with the Deer has been 
referred to. The Mole also appears once with the Wind and once 
with the Raccoon. 

Tlie position of the Beaver clan is somewhat peculiar. It was par- 
ticularly prominent in the towns of the Tulsa group, where it usually 
supplied the chiefs, and in these towns it ordinarily occurs in a sepa- 
rate phratry. Elsewhere, however, it is so commonly associated with 
the Bird that many Creeks consider the connection axiomatic. Tlie 
Beaver people are said to have called the Bird people their "uncles" 

"<• And also, it is said, buzzard feathers. " Hawkins in Qa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. ni, p. 69. 



%vliilc the Bii-d people called the Beaver people their "nephews." A 
saying of one of my informants apropos of this connection should be 
quoted, to the effect tiiat " anything in contact with water is supposed 
to be akin to birds. " Presumably the birds to which he referred were 
water birds, since white crane feathers were a symbol of the White 
clans. Where the Beaver is not linked with the Bird and where it 
does not stand by itself it is usually placed with the Alligator on ac- 
count of this same association with water. Altogether it occurs thir- 
teen times with the Alligator, nineteen times with the Bird, and eleven 
times separated from both. Its associations with other clans are not 
nearly so pronounced. One of my informants said that the Bird and 
Beaver "sometimes claimed the Potato were of one phratry with 
themselves," but this assertion receives comparatively little sup- 
port from the tables, except perhaps in the case of the Beaver. 

Wilde the Panther clan ordinarily stands apart from all others 
except the Wildcat, in some towns an association exists with the Deer 
which is evidently more than accidental. Although the number of 
times this linking takes place totals only 9 as against 23 cases in 
which it is absent, the important fact is that wherever the Panther is 
Hnked with another clan — leaving out of consideration the Wildcat — 
that clan is almost always the Deer. It may also be significant that 
this linking is more pronounced among the Hitchiti towns — in three 
out of four — than elsewhere. This association was also confirmed 
by an Okchai Indian named Barney Leader, who said: "The story 
is that Panther and Deer lived together as friends, but at noon Pan- 
ther jumped upon Deer and killed him. So the Panther and Deer 
clans are one until noon and after that separate. Until noon the 
same terms of relationship are extended over both clans." In Texas 
the Deer is linked with the Wolf instead of with the Panther and 
this happens twice among the Oklahoma Creeks. In consec[uence, one 
or two cases are foimd in which this clan is associated with the Bear. 

The Bear clan usually stands clearly apart from all groups except 
as already noted. In some Upper Creek towns, however, particu- 
larly the group to which Pakan tallahassee. Fish Pond, and Wiwohka 
belong, there is an association with the Bird and Beaver, the Bear- 
Bu-d association occm'ring seven times out of twenty-one among the 
Upper Creeks and the Bear-Beaver five times out of twenty. This 
association is to be explained, I think, by the fact that these clans 
were all White clans. Although not even hinted by any of my 
informants, material which I collected from the Alabama and Koa- 
sati Indians in Texas and Louisiana seems to suggest a repugnance 
to marriage between persons of the Bear and Panther clans. 

The Alabama have a town in Polk County, Texas, with scattering 
representatives throughout southeastern Louisiana, while the Koasati 
have a town in Louisiana, but a few relatives living with the Texas 
Alabama. I was able to secm-e a very satisfactory statement of the 



clan affiliations of most of these Indians, the testimony of my several 
informants af^rceing very well, and this information is included in 
tlie following tables. While there are undoubtedly some omissions, 
thoy include, on the other hand, as many deceased members of the 
two tribes as my informants could recall. 



Living in 

Living in 





Pant her ^ - 



























Deer__ .. _ _ . . . 









In the Alabama town were also three members of the Wolf clan, but 
they belonged properly to the old Pascagoula tribe and therefore are 
not listed. In the Alabama table most of the children are included 
and in the Koasati table most of them are left out. This accoimts 
in part for the greater apparent population of the Alabama, although, 
as a matter of fact, the actual figures are somewhat in their favor. 

The contrasts between these two tables are rather striking. Thus 
the three most populous Alabama clans. Bear, Daddy-longlegs, and 
Deer, are poorly represented among the Koasati, the second of them 
not at all. The Salt also seems to be rather an Alabama than a 
Koasati clan. On the other hand, the Wildcat, the leading Koasati 
clan, is represented by only five persons among the Alabama, and I 
have reason to believe that they are really Koasati. The Panther 
clan is very well represented in Texas, and the relationship between 
it and the Wildcat was considered so close that informants some- 
times gave the affiliations of a jjerson as Panther, sometimes as Wild- 

SWAN ton) 



cat. It is now impossible to say whether the Wildcat clan of the 
Koasati was originally distinct from the Panther clan of the Ala- 
bama, or whether the Koasati merely preferred to use the name Wild- 
cat, the Alabama choosing rather that of Panther. The Beaver and 
Wind are the clans rejiresented most evenly in the two tribes, though 
the representatives of the Wind among the Koasati are now deceased. 
From the Alabama and Koasati Indians of Texas and Louisiana I 
collected records of 95 marriages, exclusive of some unions between 
Indians and Negroes. Tliis information is contained in the follow- 
ing list, the clan of the male being placed fu-st. Individuals of the 
Koasati tribe are distinguished by the letter (K), and those of the 
Pascagoula tribe b}- tlie letter (P). The rest are Alabama. 

Bear-Daddy-longlegs 5 

Daddy-longlegs-Bear 4 



Bear-Beaver (K) 

Beaver (K)-Bear (K) . 

Turkey (K)-Beaver (K) 

Beaver (K)-Turkey (K) 

Turkey (K)-Wildcat (K)_.. 
Wildcat (K)-Turkey (K)... 

Deer-Beaver 1 

Deer-Beaver (K) 1 

Beaver (K)-Deer 3 


Deer- Daddy-longlegs 2 

Daddy-longlegs-Deer 2 

Bear-Wind 2 

Bear-Wuid (K) 2 

Beaver (K)-Wildcat (K) 1 

WUdcat (K)-Beaver (K) .3 

Beavei-Salt 2 

Salt (K)-Beaver (K) 2 

Beaver-Daddy-longlegs 2 

Daddy-longlegs-Beaver 1 


Wind (K)-Panther. 

Panther-Turkey (K) 

Panther (K)-Turkey (K) 

Deer- Wind 

Wind (K)-Deer 

Panther (K)-Beaver (K). 
Panther-Beaver (K) 

Wolf (P)-Wind 

Wolf (K)-Wind (K) . 

Bear-Turkey (K) 

Turkey (K)-Bear (K)_ 

Salt- Wildcat (K) 

Daddy-longlegs-Panther (K)_ 

Deer-Alligator (K) 

Wildcat (K)-Deer 

Wolf (P)-Panther 

Beai- Wildcat ( K) 

Wolf (P)-Daddy-longlegs 

Wolf (P)-Bear 

Salt- Wind 

Salt-Turkey (K) 

Daddy-longlegs-Turkey (K) _ 
Beaver (K)-Lost Beaver (K). 

Panther- Panther 

Wildcat (K)-Wildcat (K) 


Daddy-longlegs- Daddy-long- 




This includes 42 marriages in which both individuals were Ala- 
bama Indians, 25 in which both were Koasati, 20 between Alabama 
and Koasati, 4 between Alabama and Pascagoida, and 4 between 
Alabama and Choctaw. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

Exclii(lin<i unions with Choctaw, the. number of marriages into 
which oach chui cMtercd is as follows: 

Beaver 31 Panther 14 

Bear 30 Wind 12 

Deer 23 Salt 8 

Daddy-longlegs 20 Wolf 5 

Turkey 18 Alligator 1 

Wildcat 15 

It will now bo instructive to ascertain how the marriages of each 
clan were distributed among the other clans, and this is shown by 
the following tables : 

Beaver- Bear 6 ( A, K, A-K) 

Beaver-Turkey 6 (K) 

Beaver-Deer 5 (A, A-K) 

Beaver-Wildcat 4 (K) 

Beaver-Salt 4 (A, K) 

Beaver- Daddy-longlegs 3 (A) 

Beaver- Panther 2 (K, A-K) 

Beaver-Lost Beaver 1 (K) 

Beaver- Wind 




Bear-Daddy-longlegs __ 9 (A) 

Bear-Deer 6 (A) 

Bear-Beaver 6 (A,K,A-K) 

Bear- Wind 4 (A, A-K) 

Bear-Turkey 2 (K, A-K) 

Bear- Wildcat 1 (A-K) 

Bear-Wolf 1 (A-P) 

Bear-Bear 1 (A) 




• 30 

Deer-Bear 6 (A) 

Deer-Beaver 5 (A, A-K) 

Deer- Panther 4 (A) 

Deer- Daddy-longlegs . . 4 (A) 

Deer- Wind 2 (A, A-K) 

Deer-Alligator 1 (A-K) 

Deer- Wildcat 1 (A-K) 




Daddy -longlegs- 
Daddy -longlegs- 





Bear -_ 
Deer. . 

9 (A) 
4 (A) 

1 (A-K) 
1 (A-P) 
1 (A-K) 


1 (A) 


Turkey-Beaver 6 (K) 

Turkey- Wildcat 6 (K) 

Turkey- Panther 2 (K, A-K) 

Turkey-Bear 2 (K, A-K) 

Turkey-Salt 1 (A-K) 

Turkey-Daddy-longlegs 1 (A-K) 


Turkey- Wind 

Turkey- Wolf 



Wildcat-Turkey ~6~(K) 

Wildcat-Beaver 4 (K) 

Wildcat-Salt 2 (A-K) 

Wildcat-Deer 1 (A-K) 

Wildcat-Bear 1 (A-K) 

Wildcat- Wildcat 1 (K) 


Wildcat- Panther 


Wildcat- Wolf 






Panther-Deer 4 (A) 

Panther- Wind 3 (A, A-K) 

Panther-Turkey 2 (K, A-K) 

Panthei^Beaver 2 (K, A-K) 

Panther-Daddy-longlegs 1 (A-K) 

Panther- Wolf." 1 (A-P) 

Panther- Panther 1 (A) 


Panther- Wildcat 




Wind-Bear 4 (A, A-K) 

Wind- Panther 3 (A, A-K) 

Wind-Deer 2 (A, A-K) 

Wind- Wolf 2 (K, A-P) 

Wind-Salt 1 (A) 


Wind-Daddy-longlegs. _ 

Wind- Wildcat 


Wind- Alligator 


Salt-Beaver 4 (A, K) 

Salt- Wildcat 2 (A-K) 

Salt-Wind 1 (A) 

Salt-Turk ey 1 (A-K) 




Salt- Panther 



Wolf- Wind 2 (K, A- 

Wolf- Panther 1 (A-P) 

Wolf-Daddy-longlegs _ . 1 (A-P) 

Wolf-Bear 1 (A-P) 








Alligator- Deer. 


1 (A-K) 

The data regarding the Wolf and Alligator clans is, of course, of 
no particular significance owing to the small numbers of representa- 
tives of each of these clans and the fact that thi-ee of the Wolf clan 
were Pascagoida Indians. Elsewhere there is an intimation that 
the Bear, Salt, and Wind may have belonged to the same phratry or 
clan moiety, and this is to some extent borne out by the above data, 
only one marriage between individuals of these clans — Salt and 
Wind — being given. However, the material would seem to indicate 
a feeling of repugnance to marriage between the Bear, Panther, 
and Wildcat. That the Panther and Wildcat were considered 
practically equivalent clans is certain, but it is not often that the 
Bear is found associated with these. In fact, were it not for the tables 
I should have had no suspicion of it, nothing of the kind having 
been suggested by any of my informants. The data bears out their 
contention that prohibition of intermarriage existed between the 
Deer and Wolf, the Panther and Wildcat, and the Bear and Salt, 
although it is too small in amount to be satisfactory. There is now 
no Slciink clan, and therefore we can not test native opinion that the 
Skunk and Wind were similarly allied. On the other hand the 
association which they declare to have existed between the Daddy- 
longlegs, Beaver, and Turkey is certainly no longer in evidence. 

I have now toi^ched upon practically all of the more important 
associations that can be shown with any certainty to have been 
established between Creek clans. Many others are recorded in my 
82517°— 28 11 


lists as liaving taken place in Trom one to throe towns, and un- 
doubtedly some of tlieso aetually occurred, but, ovvin*;: to tlie i)reak- 
dowa of the system anil the chance for error in collecting information 
from so many informants of varying degrees of reliability, too much 
confidence must not be placed in them. Our analysis shows that 
the 50 or more clans, the names of which can in any way be recov- 
ered, fall for the most part into a small number of groups headed by 
a few clans more prominent than the rest. About nine such groups 
may be made out, headed, respectively, by the Wind, Bear, Bird, 
Beaver, Raccoon, Alligator, Aktayatci, Deer, and Panther, although, 
as we have seen, associations are also found between several of these, 
as, for instance, the Bird and Beaver, Raccoon and Aktayatci, 
Aktayatci and Alligator, Beaver and Alligator, and Deer and Panther. 
Legus Perryman, one of my oldest informants, denominated those 
very clans, minus the Raccoon, "old original clans." It is interest- 
ing to compare tills list with the clans mentioned by Adair, Bartram, 
and Stiggins, which, it is to be presumed, were those most prominent 
in the times in which they wrote, though in a few cases Adair men- 
tions a clan in order to back up some argument. In various places 
he refers to the following: Eagle, Panther, Buffalo, Bear, Deer, 
Raccoon, Tortoise, Snake, Fish, Wind, Raven, and Sphane.''^ In 
one place he seems to distinguish between the Panther and " Tyger," *^ 
but elsewhere he speaks of the "Panther or Tyger." *'' Five of the 
clans in his list, the Wind, Bear, Deer, Raccoon, and Panther, are 
among the nine principal clans recognized to-day; three more, the 
Eagle, Snake, and Fish, have, or are remembered to have had, con- 
siderable prominence; three others, the Buffalo, Tortoise, and Sphane, 
are known to have existed; and only one, the Raven, has vanished 
from life and from memory as well.''* Bartram mentions, incidentally, 
the Wildcat, Otter, Bear, and Rattlesnake.'"' - By the last he probably 
means the Snake clan. With this understanding aU are well-known 
clans, though it happens that only one, the Bear, is of major impor- 
tance. Stiggins says: "The nation consists of nine clans or families, 
viz, the Wind, the Bear, the Panther, the Bird, the Polecat, the Fox, 
the Potato, the Red Paint, and the Isfauna which is composed of 
many small clans." ^" The first four of these belong to the leading 
nine of to-day, and the Fox and Potato are connected with two otliers, 
the Raccoon and Aktayatci. I have spoken of the Red Paint already, 
also of the "Isfauna." " The Polecat or Skunk is the only one this 
writer mentions which may be said to have been strictly a minor 
clan. It is not surprising that a clan with an uninterpretable name, 
such as the Aktayatci, should not have been selected by these writers 

« .\dair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 15, 31, 131. " Bartram, Travels, p. 451. 

<« Ibid., p. 15. »» Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 28. 

"Ibid., p. 31. " See pp. 119, 120. 
" Consult, however, p. 119, footnote 2. 



in giving specimens of the clan names, and the Beaver we know to 
have had importance only in one or two localities. The omission of 
the Bhd by Adah-, however, and particularly the failure of any of 
these writers to notice the iVlligator, is singidar. Perhaps the Snake 
was representative of the Alligator group at that time. On the other 
hand, the Bird and iyiigator may have arisen to prominence only at a 
very late period. Still, these early lists as a whole yield no proof of any 
violent change in the clan composition of Ci'eek peoples. 

In all of the cross grouping to which attention has been given 
it is remarkable to what an extent the Wind clan stands by itself. 
Out of 38 possibilities for association between this clan and the 
Bear — both of which it should be remarked are White clans like the 
Bird and Beaver — there are but 3 cases in which they fall together. 
Only 2 out of 36 are found between the Wind and Panther, 2 out of 
33 between the Wind and Bird, 1 out of 36 between the Wind and 
Deer, 1 out of 35 between the Wind and Alligator, 2 out of 34 be- 
tween the Wind and Aktayatci, 1 out of 36 between the Wind and 
Beaver, and in 31 possibilities there is not a single association be- 
tween this clan and the Raccoon. The remaining clans rank, with 
reference to their independence, in about the following order: Pan- 
ther, Deer, Bear, Raccoon, Aktayatci, Alligator, Bird, and Beaver. 
If, however, we consider the number of different clans with which 
associations were formed instead of the total number of associations 
we would have to set down the Bird and Beaver as more independent 
than the Raccoon, Aktayatci, and Alligator. 

The follo^\'ing table illustrates in concrete form the connection of 
the various Creek clans in so far as it can be determined. The nine 
principal phratries are numbered, and all of the clans which occur 
under each are usually found in this association. The relationships 
which we find between the phratries themselves are indicated by 

1. Wind, Skunk, Fish, Rabbit, Otter, Turtle. 

2. Bear, Wolf, Salt, Nokfaha, Asunwa, Fresh-land. 

3. Bird, Medicine, Inlanisi. 


4. Beaver. 


5. Alligator, Turkey, Tami, Daddy-longlegs. 

(Raccoon, Lidjami, Eagle, Hickory nut, Fox, Cane, Mink. 
'(Potato, Tcowasta. 


7. Aktayatci, Snake, Kapitca, Woksi. 

8. Deer, Pahosa, Mole, Toad, Tcokote. 


9. Panther, Wildcat, Arrow. 


One of the tlifliculties witli wliicli tliis investigation is beset is that 
analogies between clan names, or the animals which gave their names 
to clans, have Iji-ought about certain mental associations and it is 
not always certain whether an alleged clan association may not have 
been assumed by the informant without having actually taken place. 
This fact also rentiers it very difficult to determine any genetic 
relationship between clans, even those most closely connected. For 
instance, an association was assumed by some of my informants 
between the Eagle and the Bird and also between the Turkey and 
the Bird, when, as a matter of fact, the Eagle is linked with the 
Raccoon and the Turkey with the Alligator. There is evidently a 
conscious tendency to faid an association between the water animals. 
This explains why the Beaver is at times united with the Alligator, 
and the Alligator linked with the Aktayatci. For the same reason 
the Fish, Mink, and Otter are also sometimes said to be connected 
with the Beaver. Indeed the lack of intimate correspondence be- 
tween clans named after water animals is rather marked when one 
considers the strength of the desire to unite them. As I shall have 
occasion to show more than once, Indians are most skillful in invent- 
ing reasons for institutions or customs already in existence. Native 
explanations of the association of the Bird and Beaver and the 
Bird and Alligator are examples.^'" There are other linkings which 
might seem beyond Indian ingenuity to account for, yet I believe 
that reasons for such associations would be discovered by them. 

As nearly as can be made out from the information given by 
Pareja the Timucua of Florida had the following phratries: 

White Deer, in some provinces called Great Deer (no linkages 
given) . 

Dirt (or Earth) (no linkages given). 

Fish (including two minor divisions); Tucunubala. Irihibano; 
Apichi (Rabbit 0. 

Buzzard; a clan called Nuculaha (consisting of three coordinate 
or subordinate parts); Chorofa; Usinaca; Ayahanisino; Napoya; 
Amacahuri; White Fox; Amusaya. 

Bird; Bear; Habachaca; and others. 

Acheha; Panther; Partridge; Dog (Efaca); Hobatine; Quasi; 



In addition to the linking of clan to clan, varying considerably as 
we have seen, from one town to another, there existed a dual division 
of clans to which allusion has several times been made. This 
did not run across clans like the Chiefs and Warriors societies 
of the Yuchi " but separated clan from clan. One of these two 

"• See pp. 145. 149. 

" See Speck, Ethnology of the Yuchi, pp. 74-78. 


moieties was called Hathagalgi, "White people" or "Wliite clans," 
•while the other was usually known as TcUokogalgi, '' People of a 
different speech," a term also applied to tribes like the Hitchiti, 
jVlabama, and Yuchi, which do not use the Muskogee language. 
This latter was also kno^\^l hy certain alternative terms or nick- 
names. One of these is said to have been Sahanalgi, and is affirmed 
to have been an old name which my informant thought had reference 
to some sort of yell. .linothcr nickname was Laksafaskalgi, which is, 
however, applied to the tastanagalgi or leading warriors, the Deer 
clan, in Pakan tallahassee. A single informant told me that they 
sometimes called themselves Laslagalgi, ''Blacks," but according to 
another tliis was a term which a man sometimes bestowed in jest on 
liis own clan. Again, we have the term Aska'malgi, the meaning of 
which I did not obtain. By others the word Hola'tagi or Hola'talgi 
was used. In the Apalachee dialect and in Timucua hola'ta meant 
'"chief." One informant stated, however, that this was applied to 
an arbor or cabin at the square grounds where all kinds of clans 
were mixed together. According to the same man the Hathagalgi 
were too much respected to be the subject of nicknames, yet I 
heard from still another quarter that they were called Isti alumba, 
which seems to mean '' people who stick or adhere together," in 
contradistinction to the Isti tciloki, "people of a different speech." 
The respect above indicated was directed particularly to the Wind 
clan, as we shall see when we come to speak of punishments. This 
clan enjoyed privileges like those of a superior caste. 

One of the oldest of the Tukabahchee Indians told me the following 
short myth which contains some native speculations regarding the 
origin of the ball game and ball game costume and at the same time 
the origin of the dual division of clans. 

"Once upon a time the animals that walk on land played against 
everything in the air, and they disputed as to the position of the bat. 
The land animals said 'Let him go up with you,' but the air creatures 
did not want him. They disputed about him for some time, for 
neither side would take him, but finally he went with the animals. 
When the game took place he proved so quick and was able to fly 
and dart about so easily that he enabled the land animals to win. 
Just as the animals dressed at that time the people who played ball 
dressed in later times, and it was then perhaps that the division 
between Whites and Tcilokis began." 

There is a somewhat longer version of this story in thcTuggle 
collection, but no deductions regarding dress or customs are drawn 
from it. 

Just as the linking of clans disagrees in different towns, so does the 
line of division between these two sets of clans differ, and the follow- 
ing table shows how the clans were divided in each town and at the 



[ETU. ANN. 42 

same (iinc from what town or towns each clan was reported. Num- 
bors al'tcu' the W anil Tc tell how the clans wore associated in phratries 
within the town, the I's being in one phratry, the 2's in another, 
and so on. 

Tabulation of Creek Towns, Clans, and Moietie.9 
upper creeks (wuite towns) 



Abihka (near Eufaula).., 




Tulsa Little River__ 







Pakan tallahassee 




Okchai (probably same 
connections) . 




Eoasati No. 2.. 







































Tc(5) . 
Tc(4) . 
Tc(5) . 






Tc(2) . 

Tc(6) . 
Tc(3) . 
Tc(6) . 
Tc(4) . 
Tc(6) - 
Tc(5) . 
Tc(6) . 


Tc(3) . 
Tc(3) . 




Tc(6) . 
Tc(l) . 
Tc(7) . 
Tc(7) . 
Tc(6) . 
Tc(7) . 

Tc(4) . 




Tc(7) . 
Tc(4) . 
Tc(8) . 
Tc(6) . 
Tc(8) . 
Tc(7) . 
Tc(8) . 


Tc(5) , 
Tc(5) , 
Tc(4) . 










? (7 perhaps 











Abihka fnear Eufaula) 






Tc(lO) . 






















Tc(S) - 




Tc ... 




Okchai (probably same con- 
nections) . 










Tabulation" of Creek Towns, Clans, and Moieties — Continued 















Tulsti Little River 


Tc(lO) . 

ni)— - 




Tc?(7) . 


Tc?(5) . 








Okchai (probably same con- 





Koasati No. 2 
















£alaula (Upper). 

.\lahaina in Texas. 




?(1) - 

Tc(2) . 








Tc(3) . 


Tc(5) . 


Tc(3) , 
Tc(3) . 


Tc(5) . 
Tc(5) . 
Tc(5) . 
Tc(4) . 
Tc(4) . 
[W(4)(J. L.)l 
Tc(3) . Tc(4)' 

Te{5) . 

Tc(7) , 

Tc(4) . 



















Tukabahcbee . 








Tc(4?) . 









Hilibi . 




Tc(3?) . 

Eufaula (Upper) 



Alabama in Texas 



' Formerly it is said to have been White. 

' According to Billy Yahola. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

Tabulation of Cheek Towns, Clans, and Moieties — Continued 
UPPER 0REEK8 (RED TOWNS)— Continued 















Eealodji .. 





Tc(5) _ _ 


W(I) . 

Tc(2) . _ 













Atasi -- - 

Kealedji .-. 





Alabama in Texas 


















Tc(3) . 


Tc(4) . 
Tc(3) . 

Tc(5) _ 

Tc(5) _ 

























Tc(C) . . 
Tc(6) - - 



Tc(4) . . 


Tc(6?) _ 


Tc{3) - 





Hitchiti _ 








Tc(4) . 



Tc(5) . . 
Ted?) - 




Otter Lidjami 















Tc?(4) . 





Tabulation op Creek Towns, Clans, and Moieties — Continued 












Coweta _ - - 













7(6) — 







Likatcka _ 

Eufaula Hobayi . 
















Tc(4) _ _ 






Tc(5). - 






Osochi ... 















7(1)- — 














Kan tali 



Likatcka.-- -. . 

Eufaula Hobayi 


7(1) — . 











Bird Beaver 









W(3)..- W(3) — 

7(3) 7f31 

Tc(4) . . 
7(4)- — 

Tc (6) 










Hitchiti ._. 






Liwahali.. . . 





Mikasnki . 




[ETH. ANN. 42 

Tabulation of Cheek Towns, Clans, and Moieties — Continued 














Hitchiti , 







7(4). ._. 





















Tc(4) . 






Hitchiti .. . 








Tc(3) . 

W(2) . 




Mikasuki . 


On examining tliis list we find but one town in which the Wind 
are set down as Tcilokogalgi. Tliis is the Seminole town of Talla- 
hasutci and I believe the statement to be an error. The Seminole 
towns were built up from several different Creek towns and do not 
represent an old organization. Among other changes this institu- 
tion of Wliites and TcUokis fell rapidly into decay, and for three of 
the towns I have been unable to get any information. Moreover, 
all of the old men of Tallahasutci are dead and, although I am sure 
that my informant tried to give correct information, he probably 
erred. The Bear occurs twice as Tciloki, in Eufaula Hobayi and 
Laplako. In the first case not much reliance is to be placed on the 
information, since the town has long given up its square and my 
informant merely said in a general way that the Bear were the 
Tciloki and the Alligator the Wliites. The information regarding 
Laplako was, however, from one of my oldest informants and was 
furnished in a positive manner without hesitation. It is true that 
in the sister town of Liwahali the Bear is given as White, but my 
Liwahali informant was a comparatively young man, and the Liwa- 
hali square was given up much before that of Laplako. In accordance 
with the history of the Creek towns, as worked out in another place, ^^* 
Laplako and Liwahali would seem to have represented a division 
more ancient than the Tukabahchee, Eufaula, or many other groups 
of towns upon the Red side, and it is quite likely that the assignment 
of the Bear to the Tciloki was peculiar to them. In the same towns 

"« Bull. 73, Bur. .\mer. Ethn., pp. 254-258. 



the Bird and Beaver are WMte. Tliis is their usual classification, 
but my lists show that they were Tciloki in Alabama, Koasati, 
Apalacliicola and two of the Abilika towns. That they were actuaUy 
Tcilolvi in Alabama is attested by several informants within and 
without that towni, and one of my interpreters, himself a Tuka- 
bahchee, recaUed, as a subject of general amusement, that when a 
baU game was to be played the Bird clan in Alabama sided against 
the Wliites. If the Bird and Beaver were Whites in Alabama they 
were probably Wliites in Koasati also, the two towns having been 
close together and being related in language. It is also probable 
that this difference obtained among the Hitcliiti. It is true that in 
Okmulgee the Bird appear as Wliite and the Beaver as Tciloki and 
in Hitchiti proper the Beaver as White and the Bird as Tciloki, but 
my authorities for this were much younger than the one for Apala- 
chicola and their squares were among the first to be given up. In 
two of the four Abihka towns the Bird and Beaver would seem to 
have been White and in two Tciloki. The information with respect 
to Talladega, in which the two are Wliites, should have been the 
most correct, since that square is stUl maintained; since the Bird and 
Beaver seem to be Tciloki among the tribes incorporated into the 
Creeks, perhaps the disturbance in some Abihl'iia towns may have 
been due to the Natchez who settled with them. The Beaver are 
also given as Tciloki in Otciapofa and Kasihta. In the latter place 
this seems to have been a late arrangement, due to the fact that there 
were no Birds, and the three Beaver were seated with the Potato clan 
and hence classed on the same side with them. Something hke this 
may be the secret of the change at Otciapofa. Another reason is 
suggested by the case of AsUanabi, where the Beaver was also Tciloki 
although the Bird was Wliite. My information was from the medi- 
cine maker of AsUanabi and Lalogalga and is probably correct. It 
appears that the anomaly was due in part at least to the association 
of the Beav^er with water animals like the Alligator. 

But sometimes the association of the Alligator and Beaver seems 
to have worked in the opposite direction, the Alligator being placed 
among the Whites. From my notes this would appear to have been 
the case at Talladega, the old Abihka town near Eufaula, Oklahoma, 
at Pakan tallahassee, Wiogufki, Okcliai, Atasi, Eufaula Hobayi, and 
Yuchi. Wbile some of these cases do not rest on altogether satisfac- 
tory information there can be no doubt that such a classification 
occurred at times. We have no means of knowing whether it was 
characteristic of the Creeks in olden days or is a later innovation. 
The Deer clan is said, on the best authority obtainable, to have been 
reckoned a White clan in Chiaha, and this, according to an Indian of 
the neighboring Coweta town, was because it was there associated 
with the Bird. It might also be mentioned that in Tukabahchee the 


Deer were employed as henihas during the women's dance, and the 
luMiilins, jis we shixll see, were connected with peace. In Otciapofa 
the Piihosa are said to have been not merely Whites but the leading 
clan among the Whites, and as the Pahosa and Deer were uniformly 
linked tofjether the condition noted in Chiaha may have been dupli- 
cated in Otciapofa. The Puntlier clan is given as White in Otciapofa, 
Little River Tulsa, Wiogufid, and Kealedji, the evidence in the last 
case being particularly good. Although the Panther is to-day almost 
always regarded as TcUoki some of my oldest and best informants, 
including Jackson Lewis and Big Jack of Hilibi, ' asserted positively 
that it was properly a White clan. According to the latter it was a 
White clan which had been turned over to the Tciloki to make their 
numbers even with the numbers of the Whites. Referring back to 
the origin myths it is seen that corroborative evidence may be 
adduced from that source. °^ If the Panther was anciently White it 
is to be presumed that the Wildcat was White also, but of this I have 
no certain laaowledge. The Potato and Raccoon were said by one 
of my very best informants to have been reckoned as White clans in 
the Seminole town of Ochesee. While I am not prepared to deny the 
fact it would be so unique that I believe it must have been due to 
some later readjustment and does not represent an original condition. 
An informant reported that the Eagle was a White clan in Tcatoksofka 
but this was probably due to a mistaken association of the Eagle and 
Bird clans such as I have mentioned elsewhere. 

Summing up, then, we find that the Wind and Bear are almost 
always White, the Raccoon, Aktayatci, and Potato almost always 
Tciloki, the Bu'd and Beaver Tciloki occasionally but usually White, 
the Alligator, Deer, and Panther White occasionally but usually 
Tciloki. The clans linked with each of these so constantly as to be 
reckoned subdivisions were considered of the same moiety. 

At iirst sight it would seem as though the connection of the names 
of the White clans with peace were very remote, but "where there's 
a wiU there's a way," especially when it comes to ex post facto 
explanations, and here is how my good informant, Jackson Lewis, 
solved the enigma in connection with four of these. 

" The Wind is considered a peace clan because the wind can drive 
away clouds, fogs, and so on, and bring on clear, pleasant weather 
for mankind. The name of the Bird clan is understood to apply to 
birds with white plumage, such as the crane, pehcan, spring crane, 
etc. Crane feathers were borne by dancers belonging to WTute clans 
at Tukabahchee, while those of the other side carried eagle feathers. 
The Bear is a peace clan because the bear is regarded as exceedingly 
watchful and therefore useful in the interests of peace. The Wolf, 
as a branch of the Bear, is a peace clan because the Wolf is a close 

"See pp. 111-113. 


observer, active and spare, and ho forms a kind of outpost for the 

An additional reason for the association of wind with peace is the 
myth that in the beginning of things, at the time when men were 
first sejiarated into clans, it drove away the mists then enveloping 
them and revealed them to one another.^^* 

These two divisions have not had anything to do with marriago 
regulations, at least in recent times. I was told that each formed 
an exogamous group in Koasati, but the Koasati are so reduced m 
numbers to-day that it is doubtful whether such information may be 
relied upon. More important was the statement of Jackson Lewis 
that anciently members of White clans did not intermarry. However, 
he did not affirm that the same was true of the Tciloki, and his asser- 
tion remains practically unsupported. I have a few cases in which 
exogamous groups are reported including clans belonging to both 
sides, though further investigation may show this to be an error. 
Thus in Abilika-in-the-West the Wind and Bear, reported as usual to 
have been White, are said to have formed one phratry with the 
Panther which was given as Tciloki. In Asilanabi the Bear and 
Bird, which were Whites, were imited with the Beaver and Alligator, 
which were Tciloki. In Tuskegee the White Beaver are said to have 
united with the Tciloki Alligator. In Lapiako the Bear, Bird, and 
Beaver are said not to have intermarried, although the first is given 
as a Tciloki clan in this town and the other two as White clans. In 
Alabama the Bear and Panther are put together — the former a White 
clan, the latter a Tciloki. In Okmulgee and Hitchiti the Bird and 
Beaver are assigned to opposite sides but one phratry, though here, 
as stated above, I have reason to believe that they were both Tciloki. 
Among the Yuchi the Wind are said to have been Whites and the 
Deer and Panther Tciloki, while the three were in one exogamous 

Tlie White clans undoubtedly had to do with peace, while the others 
were "bearers of the red sticks" and hence were war clans, but the 
terms "peace and war" are not given to them as names, nor is the 
adjective red usually coupled with the Tciloki. There is reason to 
beheve that this dual division had something to do with the dual 
division of towns to be considered presently, but it is now difficult to 
make out just what that connection was. At any rate they served 
one definite purpose, to determine the sides in practice games played 
within each town, the Whites and Tciloki always forming the two 

Among the Texas Alabama, where there has long been but a single 
town or one or two related villages, practice games were all that could 
be indulged in. It is to be supposed that in former times they had 

"' See pp. 111-113. 


the same dual division as tho. other Creeks, but it is now entirely- 
forgotten, in later years, at all events, the men and women played 
af!;ainst eacli otiier in tlie two-goal game, something unlieard of 
among tiie Creeks proper and due without doul)t to an entire break- 
down of tlie ancient customs. I was also told that when the men did 
play against each otlier the Daddy-longlegs, Bear, and Deer "stood" 
the other clans. Tliis, however, I believe to have been another 
modern device, and a suggestion of something more primitive is 
contained in the statement of one of my oldest informants to the 
effect that the fathers of the Bear, Salt, and Wind clans always 
played against the sons of those clans. The others, including evi- 
dently the men of those three clans, "divided up any way." The 
suggestiveness about this lies in the fact that among the Creeks the 
Bear, Salt, and Wind are usually considered White clans. 

As mentioned above, in the tcitahaia or "feather dance" eagle and 
buzzard feathers were carried by the Tciloki dancers and white crane 
feathers by those from White clans. 


Some general considerations are to be appended regarding the 
functions of Creek clans and clan aggregates and the customs con- 
nected with them. One of my informants remarked that "clans 
have everything to do with marriage," yet it is evident from what has 
been said above that in practically none of the towns were all of 
the exogamous groups identical with single clans. Another asserted 
that persons of the same clan in unrelated towns could marry, while 
if the towns were considered brandies of one group they could not. 
This was, however, flatly denied by everyone else, all maintaining 
that marriage into the clan of the mother was absolutelj' prohibited, 
no matter whether the persons concerned belonged to the same town 
or lived hundreds of miles apart. Marriage into the father's clan 
was also held in disfavor, and it was said of a man who had done this, 
"He has fallen into his own [sofki] pot." This regulation was 
observed by the Texas Alabama as well as the Creeks proper. In 
ancient times the prohibition may have been more rigorous; later 
it covered only blood relatives in the father's clan. The assertion 
is made that marriage was prohibited with anyone related by blood, 
whether they belonged to the clans of the parents or not. Accord- 
ing to some this took in all such persons with whom relationship 
could still be recognized; according to others it merely extended to 
the third degree. Such an extension might indeed have been antici- 
pated from the fact that all children of men of the father's clan were 
called brothers and sisters and the individuals so designated might 
belong to any exogamous group tlii'oughout the tribe. It is said 
that a man was allowed to marry a woman of another town belonging 



to a clan into which he could not marry in his own town, provided 
that marriage between the clans was allowed in the town to which 
she l)elonged. As indicated already, there is no clear evidence that 
the great dual divisions were ever exogamous as a whole. 

Before intertribal wars came to an end the Creeks were in the 
habit of increasing the size of their clans by adopting captives, 
especially young people of both sexes. 

Slavery was not institutional among the southern Indians as it 
was with those of the north Pacific coast. The older male captives 
taken in war, and sometimes the younger ones, were anciently burned. 
The women and children, unless killed on the spot, were adopted 
into the tribe and so were those males whose lives had been spared. 
At the same time there was certainly some onus attaching to their 
position which may have lasted through life, though it does not appear 
to have attached to the second generation. Bartram had a good 
opportunity to observe the condition of slaves among the Seminole 
and represents their attitude as most abject and servile, but he adds 
that their cliiklren were "free and considered in every respect equal 
to themselves."^'' He states in this place that " the parents continue 
in a state of slavery as long as they live,"^'' but elsewhere he partially 
contradicts himself to the effect that "all slaves have their freedom 
when they marry, which is permitted and encouraged, when they 
and their offspring are every way upon an equality with their con- 
querors,"^^ and just above we read, "1 saw in every town in the 
Nation [of the Creeks] and Seminoles that I visited, more or less 
male captives, some extremely aged, who were free and in as good 
circumstances as their masters. "^^ 

It must be remembered that at the tune of which Bartram speaks 
the Creeks and Seminole had given up the custom of burning their 
captives, and thei'efore many were kept alive among them who had 
formerly been destroyed. The persistence of this less asshndable 
body of foreigners and the example of slavery among the whites 
had probably begun to affect the older institution to some extent. At 
an earlier date the captives taken in war probably formed a less 
distinct class and were assimilated more rapidly. 

Some of the small clans were regarded as inferiors by the others, 
and this may have been due in some cases to a slave origin, but I 
have not recorded so much as a tradition to that effect, and the low 
esteem in which they were held more likely arose in most cases from 
the incestuous origin often attributed to them.^" At various times 
wliite people have clahned kinship with certain Creek clans. For 
obvious reasons they have usually been assigned to a Wloite clan, 
particularly the Wind. 

" Bartram, Travels, p. 184. " For ranking of clans see pp. 43, 212, 214, 222, and 

« Ibid., p. 211. Bull. 73, p. 370. 


Clansliip luul an iiii[)(irtiuil influence on tlie ic^lutions between 
men, extendini,' into the smallest matters of everyday life, and much 
of Creek etiquette was based opon it. Thus a Creek could tell 
by the attitude of any two members of his tribe toward each other — 
whether they joked with one another and so on — in what manner 
they were related. Persons having parents of the same clan used to 
joke with each other. This "joking relationship" thus included the 
entire clan of the mother; it also inckuled all of those whose fathers 
belonged to one's own father's clan and according to Jackson Lewis 
it included one's own father's father and those women who had mar- 
ried into the father's clan. It was etiquette to talk disparagingly 
of one's own clan, even in the presence of other members of it, what 
was said being understood in a contrary sense. On the other hand 
one must always back up his father's clan and those belonging to it 
and must speak well of it and of them. 

A similar etiquette extended to objects connected with the clan, 
particularly the animal from which it was named. I was told 
that if a person killed a totem animal the people belonging to the clan 
from wliich it derived its name would compel him to make them a 
payment. A man of the Bird clan would say to one who had been 
shooting birds, "You have killed my parents; you will have to pay 
me for it," and the other would give him something. The duty of 
a member of the Wind clan to protect the skunk and rabbit from 
injury and ridicule has already been mentioned. ^^^ 

Speaking of the Indians of Tuskegee town, Speck says: 

"As descent is traced back to the totem animal itself, it is considered 
wrong for a man to kill or eat an animal having the form of his totem, 
as it would be the same as eating his own human relations. Such 
offenders are nowadays punished by fines which have to be paid to 
those of his clan who catch him in the act. Furthermore, should 
one person ridicule or belittle another's totem, he is likely to be taken 
and fined for wrongdoing by the offended clan. The fine is believed 
to appease the totem." ^' 

Although the infliction of fines is here spoken of as modern, my 
own information is to the effect that these observances have, in 
recent years, been viewed as subjects for jest rather than matters 
worthy of serious consideration, and it appeal's that animal names 
were matters of jest as far back as Adair's time.^* The custom must 
certainly have been little more than formal in some cases; other- 
wise the Deer and Bear clans would have been obliged to abstain 
from meat almost entirely and the rest of the nation would have been 
under constant tribute to them. The late Chief Grayson informed 
me that upon one occasion he killed a fawn and made a cap out of 

M» See p. 112. " Speck in Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assn., vol. u, p. 115. 

"S Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 18. 



its skin for one of his sons, ilfteiwards he met a man of the Deer 
clan -who took him to task for tliis but was finally mollified by the 
assurance that it was so used, not out of disrespect, but because it 
was held in honor. A man was also supposed to see that proper 
respect was paid to the totem animal of his father's clan. An in- 
stance was related to me in which a man was called to account for 
having killed a woK, by another man whose father belonged to the 
Wolf clan. It is from this clan association that the Creeks applied 
terms of relationship to animals. According to one informant the 
Bird people called the buzzards, and all other kinds of birds in fact, 
"my father," and he added that this form of address was usual with 
other clans. It is, however, more likely that the term given by way 
of illustration was applied by persons whose fathers were from the 
Bird clan. If they themselves had been Birds they would probably 
have said "my uncle." ^** 

There appears not to have been the slightest objection to killing 
totem animals from veneration for them as such, and this was just as 
true in Adair's time. He says : 

"The Indians, however, bear no religious respect to the animals 
from which they derive the names of their tribes, but will kill any of 
the species, when opportunity serves. The wolf indeed, several of 
them do not care to meddle with, believing it unlucky to Idll them; 
which is the sole reason that few of the Indians shoot at that creature, 
through a notion of spoiling their guns . . . though, at the same time, 
they are so far from esteeming it a deit}', they reckon it the most 
abominable quadruped of the whole creation." ^' 

We should perhaps add to this a taboo against killing the rattle- 
snake, but there appears not to have been the least connection be- 
tween their \mwillingness to kill this reptile and its eponymous char- 
acter, and indeed the name of Snake clan is not certainly knoNvn to 
have applied specifically to the rattlesnake."" 

When a formal council was opened in the tcokof a Bartram says that 
the tobacco used was brought in in a skin usually taken from that 
animal from which the chief's clan derived its name."^ 

The Wind clan formed in some respects a privileged class. I have 
already mentioned the fact that women of this clan were called " grand- 
mothers" by the other people, and we shall see later that, with the 
possible exception of the Bear, this was the only clan allowed to take 
up again the clubs with which adulterers were punished, after they 

«■ See also pp. 145-149. 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 16. 

<" Consult, however, Bartram, Travels, p. 451; see p. 537 in following paper. 

•1 Bartram, op. cit. 

82517°— 28 12 


had once Ijcch laid aside. According to one writer the Wind clnn 
coukl take them up an indefinite number of times; according lo an- 
other, four times. This privilege Is well remembered. A single 
writer adds that people of the Bear clan were allowed to take tlie clubs 
up twice, but I have been able to learn nothing definite upon the sub- 
ject from the living Indians. Local privileges connected with the 
busk ceremonial were, of course, enjoyed by other clans. "- 

In other parts of America clan distinctions are indicated by means 
of face paintings or tattooings. With the Creeks, however, most of 
the latter seem to have had to do with war honors. I was told that 
members of the Raccoon clan painted circles about their eyes, but 
according to others this was done merely by doctors as a sign that they 
were able to see in the dark. Paintings used to indicate the towns of 
the persons using them will be considered presently.^^* 

Another source of information regarding the position of clans in 
the tribe is still to be tapped, but in order to do this we must first 
set forth a description of the Creek ceremonial or busk ground, the reli- 
gious and social center of every Creek community of consequence. 


Both the Creeks and the Texas Alabama have told me that 
anciently clans lived apart, and in a Creek story of the origin of corn 
they are represented as scattered about in a number of different 
camps. Wliether or not the major clans are descended from bodies of 
people which once lived in separate toMTis and lacked exogamy the 
local separation of the clans until very late times is an undeniable fact. 
I may note here the assertion of one of my oldest and best informants 
to the effect that in olden times the clans were not exogamous, but 
that upon one occasion a council was held and it was determined 
that afterwards they should be considered such. This is interesting 
as marking the native recognition of such a possibility, not as proving 
that the change actually took place. The Creek towns in the times 
when we begin to have knowledge of them consisted of a succession 
of villages or neighborhoods scattered through the woods and along 
the streams, and connected by a network of traUs. The unit of such 
a town consisted of a group of houses owned by women of one clan 
and occupied by themselves, their husbands, and their young chil- 
dren. In practice it worked out sometliing like tliis. A man, assisted 
by other members of his family or clan, might build a house in a new 
situation and clear the usual yard by hoeing up the surface weeds 
and grass for a considerable space about it. Now, when one of liis 
daughters married her husband, dra'wn from some other, perhaps 
distant, locality, would build another house on part of the same 

" Cf. also Milfort, Mf m., p. 255. "• See p. 246. 


cleared space or in the iimnediate neighborhood where the pair would 
set up lioxisekeeping. As his other girls married this process was 
rejieated. \Mien the children grew up the girls woidd continue to 
occupy the ancestral dwellings, or others erected for them in the 
neighborhood, while the boys would marry elsewhere. A man might 
erect and pay for a house and call it "my house," but it was to all 
intents and purposes the property of his wife. "My house" was a 
term applied by the Chickasaw to his clan as well as to his habitation."'' 
Hj a Creek male the word which has been translated into English 
as ''home" (lillti) was not bestowed upon the house in which he 
and his wife lived, even though he might have built it himself, but 
on the houses in which lived the women of his clan. A woman's 
htlti, or "home," was indeed her home in our understanding of the 
term, except that the houses occupied by other women of the same 
clan were also her homes, but a man's hllti was not usually where 
he spent most of his adult life, but the home of his mother and the 
other women of his clan. In case a stranger visited the town and 
made known to what clan he belonged it was the duty of a man mar- 
ried into that clan to invite him to his house. In this case, although 
neither he nor his wife had set eyes on the man before, he would say 
to him "Come to your home (hiiti)." This dut}^ of hospitality 
toward a fellow-clansman often brought men outside of the family 
proper under the same roof, whether they were welcome or not. 
Sometimes an old man whose children were grown up, or who for any 
reason was alone in the world, would travel about from one to another 
of the houses of his female kin. He would say, "Well, I am going 
to my home," and make for the house of someone who had never 
seen him before. In later times this struck the young people as very 
presumptuous, but it was the old law. In the days before there were 
hotels, restaurants, old peoples' homes, insurance, etc., it was a very 
convenient device. It not only served to provide for the old, infirm, 
and indigent, but enabled the adventurous to travel and see more 
of the world than would otherwise be possible. 

The best early account of the aiTangement of a Creek village and 
its dwellings, including also the position of the ceremonial grounds 
with reference to them, is given by Bartram, and 1 herewith append 
it along with the sketch accompanying (fig. 1). He says: 

"The general position of the Chunk- Yard and Public Buildings of 
the Creeks, in respect to the dwellings of the Indians themselves, is 
shown in the following engraved plan: 

"A is the Rotunda; B, the Public Square; C, the grand area or 
Chunky-Yard. The habitations of the people are placed with con- 
siderable regularity in streets or ranges, as indicated in the plan. 

« Adair, Uist. Am. Inds., p. 17. 



lETlI. ANN. 42 

"The dwellings of the Upper Creeks [i. e., the Creeks proper, 
exclusive of the Seminole] consist of little squares, or rather of four 
dwelling-houses inclosing a sf[uare area, exactly on the plan of the 
rul)lic S(|uare. Every family, however, has not four of these houses; 
some have but three, others not more than two, and some but one, 
according to the circumstances of the individual, or the number of 
his family. Those who have four buildings have a particular use 
for each building. One serves as a cook room and winter lodging- 
house, another as a summer lodging-house and hall for receiving 
visitors, and a third for a granary or provision house, etc. The last 
is commonly two stories high, and divided into two apartments, 


P. / -0 



D n 

■. c n 

D=...L..5J i---"^ Dd 



C o 

D"D""i""Q°Q Pd" 

DD ,..' 



p^ : BO 


Fig. 1. — A typical Creek Ceremonial or Busk Ground, showing its relation to the town. 

(After Bartram.) 

transversely, the lower story of one end being a potato house, for 
keejjing such other roots and fruits as recjuire to be kept close, or 
defended from cold in winter. The chamber over it is the council. 
At the other end of this building, both upper and lower stories are 
open on their sides; the lower story serves for a shed for theii' saddles, 
pack-saddles, and gears, and other lumber; the loft over it is a very 
spacious, airy, pleasant pavilion, where the chief of the family reposes 
in the hot seasons, and receives his guests, etc. The fourth house 
(which completes the square) is a skin or war^-house, if the proprietor 
is a wealthy man, and engaged in trade or traffic, where he keeps his 
deer-skins, furs, merchandise, etc,, and treats his customers. Smaller 


or less wealthy families make one, two, or three houses serve all their 
purposes as well as they can. 

"The Lower Creeks or Seminoles are not so regular or ingenious in 
their building, either public or private. They have neither the 
Chimlvy-Yard nor Rotunda, and the PubUc Scjuare is an imperfect 
one, having but two or three houses at furthest. Indeed they do not 
recpiire it; as theu" towns are small, and conseciuently their councils 
just sulhcient for the government or regulation of the town or little 
tribe: for in all great and public matters they are infiuenced by the 
Nation, or Upper Creeks. 

"Their private habitations consist generally of two buildings: 
one a large oblong house, which serves for a cook room, eating- 
house, and lodging-rooms, in three apartments imder one roof; the 
other not quite so large, wliich is situated eight or ten yards distant, 
one end opposite the principal house. This is two stories high, of 
the same construction, and serving the same purpose with the granary 
or provision house of the Upper Creeks.'"'* 

Each of these groups of buildings was evidently occupied by one 
family, and we must suppose the houses of daughters — ^when they 
had establishments of their own, which was not always the case — 
were those adjoining in the same "block" or district. The houses 
of the more elaborate pattern have long been out of use and forgot- 
ten, with the removal of the Indians to Oklahoma (pi. 13, c). ±\. 
corncrib of modest dimensions may still be found near some of the 
houses of the old type, and it is usually on the cleared space aboiit the 
house. "The cookroom and winter lodging house" was the ecpiiva- 
lent of the "hot house" of other wa'iters, though the ancient form 
had perhaps been considerably altered. The ground plan of this 
house is usually described as roughly cucular, but Romans, m com- 
paring the dwellings of the Creeks with those of the Chickasaw and 
Choctaw, says : ' ' They live nearly in the same kuid of habitations 
as the two other nations already mentioned, except that their hot 
houses are not circular but oblong squares." "^ In ancient times a 
public and a private house of this character were shared by both 
Creeks and Cherokee, but in later years they were to some extent 
given up by the Creeks, who did not feel the need of them so keenly 
in their comparatively warm climate, while the Cherokee held to 
them much longer. 

Among the Alabama the yard (ta'ale), that anciently suirounded 
every house, was rouglily square but was broader in front of and 
behind the house than at the sides. The yard was not fenced in 
primitive times but was sedulously cleared of grass by means of hoes. 
Otherwise it was thought that sickness was likely to attack the 

w Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. m, pp. 54-56. 
« Romans, Nat. Hist. E. and W. Florida, p. 96. 


household. Sometimes the house had a porch in front, as is usually 
the case at the present day. The corncrib was in one part of the 
yard, it did not matter which, and, as in the case of the Creeks, 
houses were also put up there for married daughters of the house 
owner. His sons went elsewhere to live with their wives. Wlion the 
husband of one of these daughters killed a deer lie would send some of 
the meat to his father-in-law, but the several families did not cook 
at one fire or live in any sort of communism. 


Wlien we consult the narratives of the De wSoto expedition we find 
that they speak as if it were usual to find artificial mounds in the 
center of Indian settlements, the mounds sometimes bearing build- 
ings. Garcilasso has the foUowing to say regarding these: 

" The town and the house of the cacique Ossachile were hke those of 
all the other caciques of Florida. Therefore, without making a 
particular description of this place and this house, it seems proper to 
give only a general idea of all the capitals and aU the houses of the 
chiefs of the country. I will say then that the Indians endeavor to 
place their towns upon elevated places. But because, in Florida, 
they rarely meet this sort of place where they can find the necessary 
conveniences to build, they raise themselves eminences in this 
manner. They choose a place where they bring a quantity of earth 
which they elevate into a kind of platform, two or three pikes high; 
the top of which is capable of containing ten or twelve or fifteen or 
twenty houses to lodge the cacique with his family and all his retinue. 
They then trace, at the bottom of this elevation, a scjuare place 
conformable to the extent of the village which they would make; 
and around this place the most important persons build their dwell- 
ings. The common people lodge in the same manner; and thus 
they all environ the house of their chief. In order to ascend to it 
they draw, in a straight line, streets from top to bottom; each one 
fifteen or twenty feet wide, and unite them to each other wdth large 
posts, wliich enter very deep into the earth and wliich serve for 
walls to these streets. Then they make the stairs with strong beams 
which they put across, and which they square and join in order that 
the work may be more even. The steps of these stairs are seven or 
eight feet wide; so that horses ascend and descend them without 
difficulty. However, the Indians steepen aU the other sides of the 
platform, with the exception of the stairs, so that they cannot ascend 
to it; and the dwelling of the chief is sufficiently strong." "' 

Garcilasso 's figures frequently need to be divided by from 5 to 10, 
but there may very well have been some such structure as this since 
we know that the houses of the Natchez chiefs were elevated on 

" Shipp's OarcUasso, pp. 300-301. 


mounds, along with their ossuaries, as well as the town houses of the 
Cherokee, though 10 to 20 houses are rather too many to assign to 
them. The main fact is confirmed, however, by Biedma, who, in 
speaking of the cross set up at Casqui, says ''it is the custom of the 
Cacicjues to have near their houses a high hill, made by hand, some 
having the houses placed thereon." °' This mound at Cascjui is 
also mentioned by the Fidalgo of Elvas."* Ranjel says that the 
Spaniards set up a cross on the mound of a small village under a 
chief called Ichisi, somewhere in southern Georgia.^" Further on 
he tells us that the "house of worship" of Talimeco, near the lower 
Savannah, was "on a high mound."™ In speaking of the town of 
Ufita, in Florida, Elvas states that " the chief's house stood near the 
beach, upon a high mount made by hand for defence." '' Plazas or 
squares are also referred to several times. Elvas speaks of the town 
yard of Napetaca, the town yard of Achese, and the town yard of 
Chicafa."- Wlien the Spaniards entered Athahachi to meet Tas- 
calufa, Ranjel says "the chief was on a kind of balcony on a mound 
at one side of the square. " " These references show that at that 
time each town of any importance had a kind of public square and 
often a mound near by surmounted by public buildings or the resi- 
dence of the chief. These references, but particularly the last, 
suggest the ancient arrangement of the Creek scjuare ground as thus 
described by Bartram: 

"The subjoined plan (fig. 2) will illustrate the form and character 
of these yards. 

"A, the great area, surrounded by terraces or banks. 

" B, a circular eminence, at one end of the yard, commonly nine 
or ten feet higher than the ground round about. Upon this mound 
stands the great Rotunda, Hot House, or 'Winter Council Tlovse, of the 
present Creeks. It was probably designed and used by the ancients 
who constructed it, for the same purpose. 

" C, a sc[uare terrace or eminence, about the same height with the 
circular one just described, occupying a position at the other end of 
the yard. Upon this stands the Puhlic Square. 

"The banks inclosing the yard are indicated by the letters b, h, 
h, h; c indicates the ' Chunl:-Pole,' and d, d, the 'Slave-Posts.' 

"Sometimes the square, instead of being open at the ends, as 
shown in the plan, is closed upon all sides by the banks. In the 
lately built, or new Creek towns, they do not raise a mound for the 
foundation of their Rotundas or Public Squares. The yard, how- 
ever, is retained, and the public buildings occupy nearly the same 

•' Bourne's Narr. ot Dc Soto, vol. n, pp. 27-28. ■' Ibid., p. 23. 

M Ibid., vol. I, p. 120. '1 Ibid., vol. i, pp. 44, 56, 103. 

•• Ibid., vol. II, p. 89. " Ibid., vol. n, p. 120. 

™ Ibid., p. 101. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

positions in respect to it. They also retain the central obehsk and 
the slave-posts." " 

The use of the mound, while partly no doubt for defense and to 
add dignity to the structures placed upon it, was very often in order 
to protect the buildings from spring floods and the general damj^ncss. 
Some earlier Spanish statements suggest that perhaps even in the 
sixteenth century not all public buildings were placed upon mounds. 
Yet by analogy with the Cherokee town house and the lower Missis- 
sippi temple we may consider it probable that the arrangement set 
forth by Bartram was actually a very ancient one. It would seem 

likely that the building called by 

Bartram the rotunda was once 
the most important element and 
that the public square was merely 
a summer substitute suggested 
by a southern climate. Such an 
evolution of the Creek public 
buildings would bring them into 
line with those known to have 
existed among the Cherokee and 
the tribes of the Mississippi. A 
later evolution changed the rela- 
tive position of the elements here 
brought together and finally re- 
sulted in an almost complete 
elimination of the moimds. We 
will continue with Bartram's de- 
scription of the later square 
(fig. 3) which remained essentially 
as he represents it almost to the 
present day. 

" This is the most common plan 
or arrangement of the Chunky- 
Yard Pubhc Square, and Kotunda of the modem Creek towns. 
"A, the Public Square or area. 

"B, the Eotunda; a, the door opening towards the square; the 
three circular lines show the two rows of seats, sofas, or cabins; the 
punctures show the pillars or columns which support the building; 
c, the great central pillar, or column, surrounded by the spiral fire, 
which gives light to the house. 
" C, part of the Chunky-Yard." " 

Fig. 2.— Ancient pattern of Creek Ceremonial or 
Busk Ground. (After Bartram.) 

" Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. ui, pp. 61-53. 

'» Ibid., p. 64. 




But however the arrangement, it is to be noticed that the pubhc 
grounds of the Creeks inchidod three elements, the A, B, and C of 
Bartram. As ah-eady stated, I beheve the building which he calls 
the rotunda to be the oldest element of all, although it is the one which 
has disappeared most completely. In construction it was similar to 
the winter house of the individual Creek Indian, differing little except 
in size and the uses to which it was put. Adair says : 

"It is usually built on the top of a hill; and, in that separate and 
imperial state house, the old beloved men and head warriors meet on 
material business, or to divert themselves, and feast and dance with 
the rest of the people. They furnish the inside with genteel couches, 
either to sit or lie on, about seven feet wide, and a little more in length, 
with a descent to- 
wards the wall, to se- 
cure them from fall- 
ing off when asleep. 
Every one takes his 
seat, according to his 
reputed merit; a 
worthless coxcomb 
dare not be guilty of 
the least intrusion — 
should he attempt it, 
he is ordered to his 
proper place, before the multitude, with the vilest disgrace, and bears 
their stinging laughter." '^ 

Swan describes it as follows: 

" The hot-house is a perfect pyramid of about twenty-five feet high, 
on a circular base of the same diameter. The walls of it are of clay, 
about six feet high, and from thence drawn regularly to a point at 
the top, and covered round with tufts of bark. Inside of the hot- 
house is one broad circular seat made of canes, and attached to the 
walls all around. The fire is kindled in the center; and the house, 
having no ventilator, soon becomes intolerably hot; yet the savages, 
amidst all the smoke and dust raised from the earthen floor by their 
violent maimer of dancing, bear it for hours together without the 
least apparent inconvenience." ''' 

Hawkins names this house the "chooc-ofau thluc-co" — Tcoko'fa 
la'ko, "house with a big room," as obtained by myself — and he goes 
on to give the following description: 

"This is near the square, and is constructed after the following 
manner: Eight posts are fixed in the ground, forming an octagon of 
thirty feet diameter. They are twelve feet high, and large enough 
to support the roof. On these, five or six logs are placed, of a side. 

Fig. 3.- 

= iilhWIll'im 

-Later pattern of Creek Ceremonial or Busk Ground. (After 

'« Ad:iir, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 421. 

" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 265-206. 


drawn in a.s they rise. On tlu'so, lon<; poles or rafters, to suit tlu? 
height of the huihUng, are hiid, (ho ii])p(^r ends forming a ])oint, and 
the h)\ver ends projecting out six feet from the octagon, and resting 
on posts five feet high, placed in a circle round the octagon, with 
plates on them, to which the rafters are ticnl with splits. Tlie rafters 
are near together, and fastened witli splits. These are covered 
with clay, and that with pine bark; the wall, six feet from the octagon, 
is clayed up; they have a small door into a small portico, curved 
round for five or six feet, then into the house. 

" The space between the octagon and the wall, is one entire sopha, 
where the visitoi-s he or sit at pleasure. It is covered with reed, 
mat or splits. 

"In the centre of the room, on a small rise, the fire is made, of 
dry cane or dry old pine slabs, split fine, and laid in a spiral circle. " " 

The following account is from Bartram: 

" The great council house or rotunda is appropriated to much the 
same purpose as the pubhc square, but more private, and seems par- 
ticularly dedicated to political affau-s; women and youth are never 
admitted; and I suppose it is death for a female to presume to enter 
the door, or approach within its pale.^*" It is a vast conical building 
or circular dome, capable of accommodating many hundred people; 
and constructed and furnished within, exactly in the same manner as 
those of the Cherokees already described, but much larger than any I 
had seen of them; there are people appointed to take care of it, to have 
it daily swept clean, and to provide canes for fuel, or to give light. " '' 

Bartram's description of the Cherokee "rotunda," to which 
reference is made in the above account, is as follows: 

"They first fix in the ground a circular range of posts or trunks 
of trees, about six feet high, at equal distances, which are notched 
at top, to receive into them from one to another, a range of beams 
or wall plates; within this is another circular order of very large and 
strong piUars, above twelve feet high, notched in like manner at top, 
to receive another range of waU plates; and within this is yet another 
or third range of stronger and higher pillars, but fewer in number, 
and standing at a greater distance from each other; and lastly, in the 
centre stands a very strong pUlar, which forms the pinnacle of the 
building, and to which the rafters centre at top; these rafters are 
strengthened and bound together by cross beams and laths, which 
sustain the roof or covering, which is a layer of bark neatly placed, 
and tight enough to exclude the rain, and sometimes they cast a 
thin superficies of earth over all. There is but one large door, 
which serves at the same time to admit light from without and the 
smoak to escape when a fire is kincUed; but as there is but a small 

'• Hawkins in Oa, Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, pp. 71-72. 
"« This is erroneous; see Swan's statement on p. 182. 
'» Bartram, Travels, pp. 448^49. 


fire kept, sufficient to give light at night, and that fed with dry 
small sound wood divested of its bark, there is but little smoak. 
All around the inside of the budding, betwixt the second range of 
pillars and the wall, is a range of cabins or sophas, consisting of two 
or three steps, one above or behind the other, in theatrical order, 
where the assembly sit or lean down; these sophas are covered with 
mats or carpets, very curiously made of thin splints of Ash or Oak, 
woven or platted together; near the great pillar in the centre the lire is 
kindled for light, near which the musicians seat themselves, and round 
about this the performers exhibit then- dances and other shows at jjub- 
lic festivals, which happen almost every night thi-oughout the year." *"* 

This writer is the only one mentioning three concentric rows of 
posts in atldition to the central pillar. 

Contemporaneous with Bartram's description is that of Taitt: 

"The hot house is generally built at the north west Corner of the 
Square liaving the door fronting the South East. The one in this 
Town [Tukabahchee] is a Square buildmg about 30 feet diameter 
rounded a little at the Corners; the walls are about four feet high; 
from these walls the roof rises about twelve feet, terminating in a 
point at top. The door is the only Opening in tliis house for they 
have no window nor funnell for the smoke to go out, there is a small 
entry about ten feet long built at the out side of the door and turned 
a httle round tlie side of the house to keep out the Cold and prevent 
the wind blowing the fire about the House; they make a Circle of 
pitch pine Split small; or in lieu of the pitch pine they use small 
diy Canes, leaving a small space of the Circle Open where the fij-e 
is lighted, still keeping some person Employed to add pitch pine of 
Canes to one part of the Circle while the fire Consumes the other. 
In this house the Indians consult about the affairs of their Nation in 
the Winter Season and in their Square in Summer." *' 

Hitchcock's notes contain a short description of the Tukabahchee 
tcokofa erected after the emigration of the Creeks to the banks of 
the Canadian. He calls this building "the Eound house," and says: 

" Considerable ingenuity has been employed in its erection.*'" The 
main structure is supported upon twelve posts or pillars, one end sunk 
in the groimd. They are disposed in a circle about 9 or 10 ft. apart, 
making a space witliin of about 120 ft. circumference, in the centre of 
wliich, upon the ground, is the sacred fire. The roof over this circle 

» Bartram, Travels, pp. 366-367. 

1 Taitt in Jlorenrss, Trav. in Am. Col., p. 503. 

Bio It seems that the architect was Tukabahchee milco, a well-known Upper Creek leader and at that 
time its leading medicine maker. After giving the dimensions of the building as "about GO feet in diameter 
and 30 feet high." he says that Tukabahchee miko "cut sticks in miniature of every log required in the 
construction of the building, and distributed them proportionately among the residents of the town, whose 
duty it was to cut logs corresponding with their sticks, and deliver them upon the ground appropriated for 
the building, at a given time. .\t the raising of the house, not a log was cut or changed from its original 
destination: all came together in their appropriate places, as int.ended by the designer. During the plan- 
ning of this building, which occupied him six days, he did not partake of the least particle of food."— 
Smithson. Misc. Colls., no. 53, p. 12. 


[ETH. AKN. 42 

is a cone terminating in a jjoint over the. fire some 20 odd feet high. 
Tlie rafters extend down from the apex of tlie cone beyond the twelve 
pillars, which are about 8 ft. high, to within 4 or 5 ft. of the ground, 
which space, of 4 or 5 ft., is closed entirely wilh earth. Between the 
pillars and the extreme exterior, a space of several feet, are seats of 
mats, like those of the sheds [in the Square]. The manner of con- 
structing the roof is very remarka])le for Indian work. Upon the 
alternate couples of the 12 pillars are first placed horizontal pieces, 
then upon the ends of these are placed other horizontal pieces between 
the other couples of pillars, then another series of horizontal pieces 
resting upon the second set, but drawn within towards the centre 
of the circle a few inches. I'pon these again are other pieces still 
more drawn in. There are 4 tiers of horizontal jjieces thus placed 
upon each other (fig. 4) . 

"A, b, c, d, are four of the twelve pillars. Pieces are first laid 
upon ab and ujjon cd, then a piece upon these and between be, etc., 
etc. These horizontal pieces are strongly bound together by leather 
thongs of green hide. They are only carried 
up to the number of 4 sufficient for giving a 
direction and a foundation for the rafters, 
which are laid upon these, extending up to a 
Fiu. 4— Structure of the roof point ill One tUrection and in the other direc- 
HitchcTCk) "^'"^°"'' '"^'""^ tion over [the] outside nearly to the ground. 
The rafters are strongly bound by thongs and 
covered with ordinary rived boards for shingles. Tliere is but one 
small entrance to the House which is next towards the angle of the 
square adjacent to which the Round House stands." '^ 

He adds that certain persons were appointed to preserve the build- 
ings and that they were obliged to take the black drink every morning. 
These descriptions, particularly that of Hawkins, agree with those 
I have myself obtained from old men who remember some of the 
hot houses that were built in Oklahoma. One had even heard that 
these buildings were anciently on mounds. In later times, however, 
the construction became much simpler. Some were made hj resting 
poles on one end on an earthen wall and drawing the upper ends 
together at the center, the whole being covered with long boards. It 
is to be added that, although the seats ran all the way around this 
building on the inside, it was divided into separate "beds," maintain- 
ing the same general position as those in the "big house" out of doors. 
It was, as nearly as could be managed, an indoors version of the 
latter. During the CivU War most of these houses disappeared, and 
only one seems to have been built after that time, in this case by the 
people of Pakan tallahassee. One of the men who had participated 

S! Hitchcock, Ms. notes. The overlapping of the horizontal pieces in the sketch is crudely indicated, 
suggesting an outward rather than an inward flare. 



in the erection of this particular structure told me that the boards 
were made, and the materials brought to the spot, set up and fastened 
together — with grapevines instead of nails — all in 10 days. This 
hot house was used by the Laksafaski,*' who are the tastanagalgi — 
in tins to^^^l equivalent to the Deer clan. It was afterwards burned 
to the ground and has never been replaced, though the foundation, 
including the location of the large center post and the circular out- 
line, was traceable when I visited the Pakan tallahassee busk ground 
in 1912. At Tukabalichee its place is still theoretically marked, and 
a fire made for it annually, in a circular area about 50 feet in diam- 
eter northwest of the square ground.*''* 

The outdoors council ground or " big house," as it is known to the 
Creeks, has also suffered degeneration, though not to such a marked 
degi-ee as the tcokofa. The best early descriptions are by Bart ram, 
Swan, and Hawkins, and they are confirmed by allusions on the part 
of Adair and other writers. Hawkins says: 

" Choo-co-thluc-co, (big house), the town house or public square, 
consists of four square buildings of one story, facing each other, forty 
by sixteen feet, eight feet pitch; the entrance at each corner. Each 
building is a wooden frame, supported on posts set m the ground, cov- 
ered -w-ith slabs, open in front like a piazza, divided into three rooms, 
the back and ends clayed, up to the plates. Each division is divided 
length^\-ise, into two seats; the front, two feet high, extending back 
half way, covered with reed-mats or slabs; then a rise of one foot, and 
it extends back, covered in like manner, to the side of the building. 
On these seats they lie or sit at pleasure." *^ 

Swan's description is yet longer: 

" The public squares, placed near the centre of each town, are 
formed by four buildings of equal size, facing inwards, and enclosing 
an area of about thirty feet on each side. These houses are made of 
the same materials as their dwelling-houses, but differ by having the 
front which faces the square left entirely open, and the walls of the 
back sides have an open space of two feet or more next to the eaves, 
to admit a circulation of air. Each of these houses is partitioned into 
three apartments, making twelve in all, which are called the cabins; 
the partitions which separate these cabins are made of clay, and only 
as high as a man's shoulders, when sitting. Each cabin has three 
seats, or rather platforms, being broad enough to sleep upon. The 
first is raised about two feet from the ground, the second is eight inches 
higher, and the third, or back seat, as much above the second. The 
whole of the seats are joined together by a covering of cane-mats, as 
large as carpets. It is a rule, to have a new covering to the seats 
every year, previous to the ceremony of the busk; therefore, as the 

w Said by some to be a nickname for the Tcilokogalgi; see p. 157. 
M» Some further notes on the tcokofa will bo found on p. 59. 
>' Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. in, pp. 6S-69. 


old coverinfis aro never removed, they have, in most of their squares, 
eight, ten and twelves coverings, laid one upon the other. 

" The squares are generally made to face the east, west, north and 
south. The centre cabin, on the east side,'*^ is always allotted to the 
beloved, or first men of the to^\^l, and is called the beloved seat. 
Three cabins, on the south side, belong to the most distinguished 
warriors; and those on the north side, to the second men, etc. The 
west side ** is appropriated to hold the lumber apparatus used in cook- 
ing black-drink, war-physic, &c. On the post, or on a plank over each 
of the cabins, are painted the emblems of the family to whom it is 
allotted, to wit: the bufl'alo family have the buffalo painted on their 
cabin ; the bear has the bear, and so on. 

"Up under the roofs of the houses are suspended a heterogeneous 
collection of emblems and trophies of peace and war, viz: eagles' 
feathers, swans' wings, wooden scalping knives, war-clubs, bundles of 
snake-root war-pliysic, baskets, etc. 

"Such posts and other timbers about the square as are smooth 
enough to admit of it, have a variety of rude paintings of warriors' 
heads with horns, horned rattlesnakes, horned alligators, etc. 

"Some of the squares in the red or war-towns, which have always 
been governed by warriors, are called painted squares, having all the 
posts and smooth timber about them painted red, with white or black 
edges. This is considered a peculiar and very honorary mark of 
distinction. Some towns also have the privilege of a covered square, 
which is nothing more than a loose scaffolding of canes laid on poles 
over the whole of the area between the houses. Whence these 
privileges arose, I could never learn; and it is a doubt vnth me if they 
know themselves. 

" Travelling Indians, having no relations in the town, often sleep in 
the public square as they are passing on their journey. This is one of 
theu" ancient rites of hospitality. ^\.nd poor old men and women, 
suffering for want of clothes, are entitled to sleep in the hot-houses of 
the town they live in, if they please. 

"The square is the jilaco for all public meetings, and the perform- 
ance of all their principal warlike and religious ceremonies. 

"If a man dies in the town, the square is hung full of green boughs 
as tokens of mourning; and no black-drink is taken inside of it for four 

"If a warrior or other Indian is killed from any town having 
a square, black-drink must be taken on the outside of the square; and 
every ceremony in its usual form is laid aside until satisfaction is had 
for the outrage. 

-5 This shoulrl read "west side" unless tbe square Swan is describing was different from all others except 
that of the Alabama. 
'• Or east side (?); see preceding note. 



"Each square has a black-drink cook, and two or three young 
warriors that attend every morning when bhxck-driniv is to be taken, 
anil warn the people to assemble by beating a drum." " 

Hawkins probably had the square of KasUita more particularly in 
mind and Swan that of Otciapofa. Fix)m Bartram we have two 
different descriptions, one more generalized, the other a particular 
account of the square of Atasi. The first and briefer of these runs as 
follows : 

" The Public Square of the Creeks consists of four buildings of equal 
size, placed one upon each side of a quadrangular court. The 
principal or Council House is divided transversely into three equal 
apartments, separated from each other by a low clay wall. This 
building is also divided longitudinally into two nearly equal parts; the 
foremost or front is an open piazza, where are seats for the council. 
The middle apartment is for the king {mico), the great war chief, 
second head man, and other venerable and worthy chiefs and warriors. 
The two others are for the warriors and citizens generally. The back 
apartment of this house is quite close and dai-k, and without entrances, 
except three very low arched holes or doors for admitting the priests. 
Here are deposited all the most valuable public things, as the eagle's 
tail or national standard, the sacred calumet, the drums, and all the 
apj)aratus of the priests. None but the priests having the care of 
these ai'ticles are admitted ; and it is said to be certain death for any 
other person to enter. 

"Fronting this is another building, called the "Banqueting House;" 
and the edifices upon either hand are halls to accommodate the people 
on public occasions, as feasts, festivals, etc. The three buildings last 
mentioned are very much alilve, and differ from the Council House 
only in not having the close back apartment." *^ 

His description of the Atasi square is much longer: 

"The great or public square generally stands alone, in the centre 
and highest part of the town: it consists of four-square or cubical 
buildings, or houses of one story, uniform, and of the same dimen- 
sions, so situated as to form an exact tetragon, encompassing an 
area of half an acre of ground, more or less, according to the strength 
or largeness of the town, or will of the inhabitants: there is a passage 
or avenue at each corner of equal width: each budding is constructed 
of a wooden frame fLxed strongly in the earth, the walls fiUed in, 
and neatly plastered with clay mortar; close on thi-ee sides, that is 
the back and two ends, except within about two feet of the wall 
plate or eaves, which is left open for the purpose of a window and to 
admit a free passage of the air; the front or side next to the area is 
quite open like a piazza. One of these buddings is properly the coun- 

" Swan in Schoolcraft, Inil. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 264-265. 
" Bartram in Trans. Am. Etbnol. Soc, vol. m, pp. 63-54. 


cilhousc where the mico, chiefs, and warriors, with the citizens who 
have business, or choose to repair thither, assemble every day in 
council, to hear, decide and rectify all grievances, complaints and 
contentions, arising betwixt the citizens; give audience to ambassa- 
dors, and strangei-s; hear news and talks from confederate towns, 
allies or distant nations; consult about the particular affairs of the 
town, as erecting habitations for new citizens, or establishing young 
families, concerning agriculture, etc. This building is somewhat 
different from the other tliree: it is closely shut up on three sides, 
that is, the back and two ends, and besides, a partition wall longi- 
tudinally from end to end divides it into two apartments, the back 
part totally dark, only tlii'ee small arched apertures or holes opening 
into it from the front apartment or piazza, and little larger than just 
to admit a man to crawl in upon his hands and knees. This secluded 
place appears to me to be designed as a sanctuarj'^^ dedicated to 
religion, or rather priest craft; for here are deposited all the sacred 
things, as the physic pot, rattles, chajdets of deer's hoofs and other 
apparatus of conjurations; and likewise the calumet or great pipe of 
peace, the imperial standard, or eagle's tad, which is made of the 
feathers of the white eagle's tail (Vultur sacra) curiously formed and 
displayed like an open fan on a sceptre or staff, as white and clean 
as possible when displayed for peace, but when for war, the feathers 
are painted or tinged with vermiUion. The piazza or front of this 
budding, is equally divided into three apartments, by two transverse 
walls or partitions, about breast high, each having three orders or 
ranges of seats or cabins stepping one above and behind the other, 
which accommodate the senate and audience, in the like order as 
observed in the rotunda. The other three buildings which compose 
the square, are alike furnished with three ranges of cabins or sophas, 
and serve for a banqueting-house, to shelter and accommodate the 
audience and spectators at aU times, particularly at feasts or public 
entertainments, where all classes of citizens resort day and night in 
the summer or moderate season; the children and females however 
are seldom or never seen in the public square. 

"The pillars and walls of the hoiises of the square are decorated 
with various paintings and sculptures; which I suppose to be hiero- 
glyphic, and as an historic legendary of political and sacerdotal 
affairs: but they are extremely pictiu-esque or caricature, as men in 
variety of attitudes, some ludicrous enough, others having the head 
of some kind of animal, as those of a duck, tm-key, bear, fox, woK, 
buck, etc., and again those kind of creatures are represented having 
the human head. These designs are not ill executed; the outlines 
bold, free and well proportioned. The pillars supporting the front 

" " Sanctoram or sacred temple; and it is said to be death for any person but the mico, war-chiet, and 
high priest to enter in, and none are admitted but by permission of the priests, who guard it day and 
night. " — Bartram. 



or piazza of the council-house of the square, are ingeniously formed 
in the likeness of vast speckled serpents, ascending upwards; the 
Ottasses being of the snake family or tribe." ^ 

Taitt's description, referring particularly to Tukabahchee, is brief 
but to the point: 

" The Square is formed by four houses about forty feet in Length 
and ten wide. Open in front and divided into tliree different Cabins 
each. The seats are made of Canes Split and worked together 
raised about tliree feet off the Ground; and half the width of the 
House, the back half being raised above the other about one foot; 
these Cabins serve for beds as well as seats in Summer." " 

eTanuary 31, 1842, General Hitchcock visited the Tukabahchee 
Square, in what is now Oklahoma, and gives the following description: 

" The Square consists of four shed roofs forming a rectangle 20 
paces on a side williin. Each roof is closed on three sides to the 
ground, the fourth or inner side being open for counsellors to sit in, 
where mats are spread made of cane for seats. The four sheds are 
separated on their angles 4 or 5 paces for entrance and egress and 
they are situated so that diagonals of the Square are nearly upon 
the meridian line and at right angles to it. The 3 sides of the shetls 
wliich are closed are closed with mud and are raised about 6 feet, the 
open front inside being a corresponding 6 feet. Each shed is divided 
into three parts by a partition raised only about elbow high to one 
in a sitting posture. Upon each partition there are two earth bowls 
about a foot in diameter in which live coals are placed diu'ing the 
council for the grave counsellors to light their pipes by. 

"One of the sheds is appropriated, or two parts of the three into 
which it is divided, to the preservation of articles used in the prepa- 
ration and drinking of the 'black drink.' The most curious part of 
the preparation at the Square is at the west angle a few feet from the 
angle outside." '- 

Another description, probably applpng to the Coweta Square, is 
furnished by Milfort and will be found in the chapter on Creek 
government.'^ Still another is contained in the Creek origin myth 
related to Gatschet by Ispahihtca of Kasihta and refers to that town. 
The dimensions given are greater than those included in the descrip- 
tions of Hawkins, Taitt, and Hitchcock. Adair gives the size 
of the central section of the west bed as 9 by 7, which would indicate 
that the entire bed was not more than 30 feet long. 

Attention should be called to the inclosed space behind the chief's 
bed mentioned by Hawkins and Bartram, and also by Adair who 
styles it " the holy of holies " and says regardmg it : " As the Jews had 

•" Bartram, Travels, pp. 452-454. « Hitchcock, Ms. Notes. 

« Taitt in Mereness, Trav. in Am. Col., p. 503. " See pp. 311-312. 

82517°— 28 13 


a mnctum. sanctnnim, or most holy place, so have all the Indian 
nations; particularly, the Muskohge. It is partitioned olT by a mud- 
wall about breast-high, behind the white seat, which always stands 
to the left hand of the red-painted war-seat; there they deposit their 
consecrated vessels, and supposed holy utensils, none of the laity 
daring to approach that sacred place, for fear of particular damage 
to themselves, and general hurt to the people, from the supposed 
divinity of the place." °'' Later most of the objects which had been 
preserved here were put up imder the roof as was the case in the 
square described by Hawldns. In old Okchai they were up under 
the roof at the north end of the west cabin, where the Wind clan sat. 
In recent years, perhaps to protect them from desecration by the 
whites, they have in some toAvns built a small house about 4 feet 
each way in which the pots used at that time are stored. There is 
one at Eufaula just back of the chief's bed, one at Alabama south- 
east of the square, and one at Chiaha Seminole in the same relative 
position. Tukabahchee, where the busk vessels and appurtenances 
are kept in a small inclosed space just back of the center of the chief's 
bed, is the only town to preserve a relic of the more ancient custom. 

In olden times there was in front of each front post in every bed a 
stick tapering to a point at the top, leaning outward, and provided 
on the outer side with two notches. The butt ends of the wands on 
which the feathers were tied used in the tcitahaia dance were stuck 
into the ground at these same points. The sticks were called atasa, 
like the smaller ones carried by the leaders of the women in the 
women's dance and the smaU ones given to youths when they were 
named, and in all cases they evidently refer to the old-fashioned war 
club (atasa or atasu). This description applies particularly to Tuka- 
bahchee. Other towns are said to have had sticks in the shape of axes 
instead of war clubs. Besides these sticks I am told that on the front 
of each post on the right-hand side of the center of each bed as you 
face the bed notches were cut called (i)na'tasa ha'ki, "made like the 
atasa," and only men of great importance who could call councils sat 
next to these posts. 

Jackson Lewis agreed with Hawldns in stating that in the old days 
when cane seats were employed there were generally only two tiers, 
but it is evident that the practice was different in different towns. 
Aside from the plan given by Swan the only attempt to represent 
any part of the square graphically was by a French artist who 
sketched what is probably the west bed of the Alabama ground in 
the early part of the eighteenth century. (Fig. 5.) This differs 
from all other illustrations and descriptions in showing four sections 
instead of three. 

"Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 80.: 




From these descriptions it appears that the buildings of the square 
were anciently constructed somewhat after the fashion of a native 
house with a long porch. In Oklahoma they degenerated rapidly, 
especially after the Civil War. While I have seen one square in which 
the cabins were provided with a shingle roof, they are almost xuii- 
vcrsally simple brush arl)ors. In tliose which retain the original idea 
most full}" there are eight posts marking out the tlu-ee ancient sub- 
divisions, but in many grounds these have become reduced to six 
and in still others to fom-. Often, however, the tripartite division is 
theoretically mamtained. The posts are forked at the top and bear 
a brush roof that is renewed every year at the tim.e of the busk. The 
seats arc usually of logs split in halves, laid with the flat surface 
uppermost. Two or tlu'ee rows from front to back are made of 
these, but as a matter of fact many Indians, especially the principal 

Tig. 5. — One of the bed.s in the Alabama Square Ground as it appeared in the early 
part of the eighteenth century. From a contemporary sketch. Medicine pots 
and spoons to right, on ground; gourd rattles to left: flag over the center pole; 
notched pole or atasa at either end and another pair some distance in from either 
end; a pole carrying a scalp at the top of each intermediate post; two full-length 
cane seats helow. Near the left end, under the front of roof, are written the words 
"Caban de Conseille." (From an article entitled "Documents concernant I'His- 
toire des Indiens," by the Baron Marc de Villiers, in the Journal de la Socif'te des 
Amf^ricanistes de Paris, n. s. vol. xiv, 1922, p. 13G.) 

men, now use wooden chau-s brought from their camps. The well- 
nigh universal statement, on the part of earlier white writers and the 
modern Indians, is to the effect that the cabins, arbors, or "beds," 
as the Creeks themselves call them, should be laid out toward the 
four cardinal points, and this holds for almost all of the modern 
squares. Jackson Lewis said that they used the north star as a guide 
in placing them. On the other hand the great square of Tukabahchee 
is somewhat askew, and one of my interpreters, who had formerly 
been the miko of that town, asserted that it was intended that the 
entrances should he toward the cardinal points. This is con- 
firmed by Hitchcock.'*" Whether this was an established custom 
of some or all of the Creek towns it would now be impossible to 
say, but I am of the opinion that it was never imiversal. A change 
has also come about in the number of arbors. Anciently there 
appear to have been four without exception. At least there is no 
early mention of a smaller nimaber among the Creeks proper.'^ 

"•Seep. 185. 

" For the Seminole, however, see Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. in, p. 56. 


With a fallinj^ oil in ])()|)iilati()n, however, and the conversion of 
many Indians to Christianity, it was found unnecessary to put up 
so many, and also too laborious for the workers available. Where 
four were ])reserved one or moi'e came to be assigned to the women 
and chikh'en, although anciently tliey did not have seats on the 
square ground. We therefore find in many towns only three arbors, 
and in a few, like Alabama, only two. The ones dropped off were 
those wliich had been occupied by the boys, the visitors, and the less 
important officials. Liwahali Seminole presents an extreme stage in 
the decline of the busk, each arbor being represented by only a single 
split log entirely uncovered (pi. 5, c). The last relic of the public 
groimd to survive, however, was the chunkey yard, which we have yet 
to consider. 

Not so much attention is paid to tliis chunkey yard by our early 
authorities, Hawkins practically disregarding it, while Swan merely 
refers to "a May-pole, with a large circular beaten yard around it, 
at the southwest corner, which is called the chunkey yard." °* 
Bartram gives the fullest description of the groimd to be found 
among older writers. Following is his account in full: 

"The Chunky -Y ard of the Creeks, so called by the traders, is a 
cubiform area, generally in the centre of the town, because the 
Public Square and the Rotunda, or great winter Council-house, 
stand at the two opposite corners of it. It is generally very exten- 
sive, especially in the large old towns, '^ is exactly level, and sunk 
two, sometimes three, feet below the banks or terraces surrounding 
it, which are sometimes two, one above and behind the other, and 
are formed of earth cast out of the area at the time of its forma- 
tion; these banks or terraces serve the purposes of seats for the 
spectators. In the centre of the yard there is a low circular mount 
or eminence, in the centre of which stands erect the chunlcy-pole, 
wliich is a high obelisk, or four square pillare declining upwards to 
an obtuse point, in shape and proportion much resembling the 
Egyptian obelisk. This is of wood, the heart or inward resinous 
part of the sound pine-tree, and is very durable; it is generally from 
thirty to forty feet high, and to the top of this is fastened some 
object to shoot at with bows and arrows, the rifle, etc., at certain 
times appointed. Near each corner of the lower and further end of 
the yard stands erect a less pillar or pole, about twelve feet high: 
these are called the slave-posts, because to them are bound the cap- 
tives condemned to be burnt, and these posts are usually decorated 
with the scalps of their slain enemies; the scalps with the hair on 
them, and strained on a little hoop, usually five or six inches in 

M Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 265. 

" *'The chunky yards are of different sizes, according to the largeness and fame of the town they belong 
to; some are 200 or 300 yards in length, and of proportionable breadth." — Bartram. 



width, are suspended by a string six or seven inches in length round 
about the top of the pole, where they remain as long as they last. 
I Iiave seen some that have been there so long as to lose all the hair, 
and the skin remaining white as parcliment or paper. The pole is 
usually crowned with the white dry skull of an enemy. In some of 
these towns I have counted six or eight scalps fluttering on one pole 
in these yards. Thus it appears evidently enough that this area is 
designed for a public place of exhibition of shows and games, and 
formerly some of the scenes were of the most tragical and barbarous 
nature, as torturing the miserable captives with fire in various ways, 
and causing or forcing them to run the gauntlet naked, chunked and 
beat almost to death with burning chunks and fire-brands, and at 
last burnt to ashes. 

"Inquired of the traders for what reason this area was called 
the C7iunl-y-Yard; they were in general ignorant, yet they all seemed 
to agree in a lame story of its originating from its being the place 
where the Indians formerly put to death and tortured their captives — 
or from the Indian name for it, which bears such a signification. 

"The Indians do not now torture their captives after that cruel 
manner as formerly; but there are some old traders who have been 
present at the burning of captives. 

"I observed no Chunky- Yards, chimky-pole, or slave-posts in use 
in any of the Cherokee towns: and when I have mentioned in my 
journal, chunky-yards in the Cherokee coimtry, it must be tmder- 
stood that I have seen the remains or vestiges of them in the ancient 
ruins of towns; for in the present Cherokee towns that I visited, 
though there were the ancient mounts and signs of the yard adjoin- 
ing, yet the yard was either built upon or turned into a garden spot 
or the like. 

"Indeed, I am convinced that the Chimky- Yards now, or lately, 
in use amongst the Creeks, are of very ancient date — not the for- 
mation of the present Indians. But in most towns they are cleaned 
out and kept in repair, being swept clean every day, and the poles 
kept up and decorated in the manner I have mentioned.""* 

A footnote by Squier gives the true origin of the term chunkey, 
viz, from the name of a game to be explained elsewhere and common 
throughout the Southern States in primitive times.'*" Bartram 
seems to have seen a chunkey-pole compounded of four pieces, an 
unusually elaborate construction. Nothing of the kind is known at 
the present day. 

After describing the Atasi square in liis Travels, Bartram goes on 
to tell us that "in the midst of a large oblong square adjoining this 
town (which was surrounded with a low bank or terrace) is standing 
a high pillar, round like a pin or needle; it is about forty feet in 

" Bartram, in Trans. .\m. Ethnol Soc, vol. m, pp. 34-36. "• See p. 468. 


height, uml l)etweeu two and three feet in diameter at tlie earth, 
gradually tapering upwards to a point; it is one piece of pine wood, 
and arises from the centre of a low, circular, artificial hill, T)ut it 
leans a little to one side."™ He adds that the Indian traders knew 
notliing about tliis and the Indians themselves claimed to have 
found it in that same situation when their ancestors arrived in the 
country."" There can be no doubt, however, that tliis was notliing 
more than a chunk yard with its ball post, although it is possible 
that it belonged to an oldei' town and was not m use in Bartram's 
time. It is at least interesting to note that according to our author's 
statement there was no pine of the kind used for this post then grow- 
ing within 12 or 15 miles of the place. 

The pole (Muskogee pokabi) is a simple straight stick, tapering to 
the top and about 30 feet high, at the summit of which is hung the 
skull of a cow or horse. In the Fish Pond towns a wooden fish is 
used, the idea being derived from the town name, and in Eufaula 
there is a wooden bird. The last is said not to have any particular 
significance imless it be that it is the American national emblem. 
The slave posts are barely remembered by the oldest people, but it is 
beheved that they were made in the shape of atasa or "war clubs." 
The chunkey game is played no longer. Except during the busk tliis 
ground is employed by the Indians mainly in playing a game between 
the men and women which will be described later. During the busk, 
however, its bounds are within the sacred area, and some of the dances 
take place there. The Okchai town has two pokabis, one to the east 
and one to the west. At Hilibi there are two, one, the pokabi proper, 
witliin the prescribed bounds and the other beyond, to the south. 
The latter is used for purely social purposes, the situation of the 
former not being so well suited to the game. The fact that the latter 
is maintained distinct shows that there was a sacred character apjier- 
taining to the chunkey-yard and also that it was considered proper 
that it occupy a certain position. The ridges of earth to which Bar- 
tram refers as furnishing seats for spectators were made by successive 
cleanings, or rather scrapings, of the surface of the yard. At the 
present day these ridges (tadjo) are difficult to distinguish in some 
grounds, but in a few, such as those of Tukabahchee and Okchai, 
they have ahnost the appearance of earthworks. In some an inner 
and an outer tadjo may be distinguished, the former just outside of the 
four beds that form the square. Tliis feature is, however, said to be 
purely accidental, due to cleaning out under the beds. Piles of trash 
are also left about the roots of trees and other obstructions. 

Around the edges of each busk ground were a nimiber of camps 
occupied by the families participating in the ceremony durmg the 
period of its continuance. The permanent parts of two of these are 
shown in Plates 4, a, and 6, c. 

'• Bartram. Travels, p. 455. 




Some of the open-air features of the old ceremonial grotmds have 
been preserved in the Indian churches of modem times. (PI. 1, 
a and b.) 

The social and ceremonial structures and grounas of the Creeks 
have thus undergone considerable changes both in evolution and sub- 
sequent devolution. It is probable, in fact quite certain, that those 
above described were not the only types to be foimd in the South. 
What may be gleaned regarding the public buildings of the Cherokee, 
Natchez, Choctaw, Carolinian and Floridian tribes shows that, of 
the arbor style of building especially, there were several types. 
That in vogue in the Creek confederacy was probably standardized 
by the selection of one particular pattern and its subsequent adoption 
by a certain complex of tribes. Open arbors of different character 
were particularly in evidence in Florida and when the Creeks invaded 
that peninsula they fomid some of these in use and probably adopted 
them occasionally. Certain of these invaders, such as the Oconee, 
had not been incorporated with the other Creeks long and may 
themselves have had a distinct type, of building, and these would 
have been more in evidence before the Creek war and the sub- 
mergence of the earlier Seminole in the flood of Indians which poured 
into Florida after that struggle. It is perhaps one such that Bartram 
describes in a little Seminole town "on the banks of the little lake 
below Charlotia." He says: 

"We were received and entertained friendly by the Indians, the 
chief of the village conducting us to a grand, airy pavilion in the centre 
of the village. It was four-square; a range of pillars or posts on 
each side supporting a canopy composed of Palnietto leaves, woven 
or thatched together, which shaded a level platform in the centre, 
that was ascended to from each side by two steps or flights, each 
about twelve mclies liigh, and seven or eight feet in breadth, all 
covered with carpets or mats, curiously woven of split canes dyed 
of various colours." ^ 

As we now have seen there were four arbors or beds (Creek tupa), 
usually laid out toward the four points of the compass. The 
names given to these beds vary. Sometimes one name was applied 
to the entire bed, sometimes to a section, wliile the names them- 
selves were somewhat different in the different towns. Nevertheless 
in each to^vn there was usually a bed upon which the term chiefs' 
bed (mikalgi or mikagi intupa) may properly be bestowed, one which 
may be called the warriors' bed (tastanagalgi intupa), and one the 
boys' bed (tcibanagalgi intupa), the last for youths busking for the 
first time and sometimes, at a later period, allowed to women and 
children except during the fast. The fourth bed is often called the 
"peace bed," or the henihas' bed (henihalgi intupa) and was known 

' Bartram, Travels, p. 302. 



[ETII. ANN. 42 

to the traders as the "second men's cabin." The henihalgi always 
acted as companions, seconds, or heutenants of the chiefs, and during 
the busk each principal ofHcial must be accompanied by a heniha. 
It is for tliis reason that the traders called them "second men." 
Their origin we will consider later." Probably we can not solve the 
problem which they present entirely, but it may be mentioned that a 
class bearing practically the same name existed among the Timucua 
of Florida and that inihi in that language meant "consort" (hus- 
band or wife) . For our present purposes it is important to find out 
what clans in each town — so far as it can be determined — constituted 
the mikalgi or cliiefs, and the henihalgi or second men, and how these 
and all other clans were seated. Originally the tastanagalgi or 
warriors seem to have been formed by promotion from aU clans, but 
latterly the name has sometimes become identified with certain 
particiilar ones. Taking up first the chiefs and henihas we find the 
following condition in the different towns: 



Henihas i 





Beaver . .. 


Tulsa Little River 




Bird (Bear — J. Lewis) 




Beaver (second chief). 




do -- 


(1) Bird (2) Raccoon. _. 

(1) Wind; (2) Bird. 

Pakan tallahassee 

(1) \ktayatci 

(1) Wind; (3) Bird. 

Wiogiifki . . 

(2) (Bear— J. Lewis). 

(1) Aktayatci (Raccoon— J. Lewis); 

Wind Oater); Alligator Gater). 
Aktayatci - 

Wind; Alligator (later). 




Bear; Raccoon (later) 

Wind; Deer Oater). 


Aktayatci (Raccoon— J. Lewis) * 


Bird (Deer). 


Deer (second chief). 


(1) Panther ' (Bird — J. Lewis) 

(1) Wind. 


(2) Raccoon. 

Wind or Bear ' 

(2) Wind. 
Bear or Wind.* 

Wind (Panther, second chief). 


RaccouQ (Eagle — Hawkins) 






RaccoDn _ 


' In some cases the nnme of the second chief's clan is remembered but the name of the heniha 's clan 
forgotten. At times the two are confounded, and at times they are distinguished. (See p. 287.) 

2 The two clans were said to furnish the chief and second chief alternately. 

3 Legus Perryman seemed to think, however, that a Tciloki elan, perhaps the Aktayatci, furnished the 

* Raccoon according to Jackson Lewis and another informant. 
' Pantlier according to two informants. 

fl According to Kasihta yahola the Tukabahchee use the Deer clan as henihas "during the woman's 
dance. " 
' The last chief belonged, however, to the Bird clan. 

« See pp. 293-295 









Upper Eufaula.. 




Yuchi — 



Eufaula Hobayi . 




Okfuskee Seminole.. 


Hitchiti Seminole... 
Eufaula Seminole... 
Liwahali Seminole.. 

Chiaha Seminole.. 

(1) Bear 

(2) Raccoon 

(1) Panther 

(2) Panther 


Aktayatci (anciently Eagle). 

Bear " (.Alligator— Oatschet) . 

Bird (Tami — Jackson Lewis) 


Wind (Deer, in last organization) 

(Passes from father to son irrespective 
of clan.) 

Fish" (Wind).... 


(1) Kapitca 

(2) Bear (second inf.) 

(1) Raccoon, Potato, or Fox 

(2) Bear.. 

(3) Wind 

(1) Fox (Jim Sapulpa).. 

(2) Potato (Tob Tiger). 




(1) Bird... 

(2) Potato 


(1) AUigator.... 

(2) Snake (anciently) ; Panther (later) . 

(1) Bird (second chief). 

(2) Bear or Wind. 

(1) Deer. 

(2) Aktayatci or Fox. 
Alligator, Turkey, and Tami. 


(1) Aktayatci. 

(2) AUigator, Bird, etc. 

Wind (Isfani— Hawkins); (Alli- 
gator, second chief). 
Wind (?). 
Bear (Bird, in last organization). 


Wind (Bear, second cbieO- 

(1) Deer (?). 

(2) Wind (second inf.) 

(1) Bear or Deer. 

(2) Bear. 

(3) Aktayatci, Potato, Alligator, 
Tami, Raccoon, Fox. 

(1) Wind (Jim Sapulpa). 

(2) Panther (Tob Tiger). 

Bird (second chief). 




(1) Bear. 

(2) Bird. 

(1) Alligator (Panther, second 
chief: Potato, third chief).'* 

(2) Panther (anciently); Alligator 
aater) . 

* .\ccording to Jackson Lewis. Later the Bird clan seems to have occupied this position, though ac- 
cording to some Hilibi people the Wind once performed the function. 

' One of the last chiefs belonged to the Wind clan. 

'" -According to three different informants. 

" Hawkins and Ispahihtca (fide Qatschet) both give the Fish, which we may therefore assume to have 
been the chief's clan in ancient times. 

" According to both my own informants and those of Doctor Qatschet (Creek Ms. vocab.). 

i> These clans are called tastanagalgi but take the place of the henihalgi. 

>< See Fig. 99. 

Regarding the Texas Alabama I learned the following facts. 
Within the memory of living Indians the chieftainship has not passed 
down in a single clan. The first head chief held in remembrance was 
leader of the tribe before they came to Texas. His name has not 
been preserved but he was the grandfather of John. Scott, the late 
chief, and he belonged to the Daddy-longlegs clan. The second head 
chief is remembered as "old man Antone." He belonged to the 
Bear clan, and the second chief imder him was a Tawasa Indian of 
the Beaver clan named Celestinc. Aiitone was succeeded by the 
late chief, John Scott, who was of the Deer clan. The second chief 
under him was formerly John Walker, a Bear. 



[Ein. ANN. 42 

By eliminating the Texas Alabama and the doubtful and less well- 
autlicntioated material in the above data and reducing all of the 
towns of each group under one head we obtain the following summary 
result. Alternative possibilities are in parentheses. 





Pakan tallahassee 

Wioguf ki 







Kealed j i 



Eufaula, Upper 







Eufaula Hobayi 






Tallahasutci - 



Li wahali 






Aktayatci (or Bear). 



Panther (or Bird) _ _ 

Wind or Bear 


Eagle (or Raccoon) . 








Bird (or Tami or Raccoon) _ 


Wind (or Deer) 

Fish (or Wind) 


Fox or Potato 






Bird (or Potato) 


Alligator (or Snake). 


Bird (or Wind). 

Wind (or Bird). 



Bear or Wind. 



Bird (or Wind). 
Alligator. _ 

Wind (or Tami). 
Wind (?). 
Bear (or Bird). 

Deer (or Wind) 
Wind (or Panther). 



Panther (tastanagi) . 
Bear (or Bird). 
Wind (tastanagi). 
Panther (or AUigator). 

A study of this table yields certain very interesting facts. Taking 
the henihalgi clans fii-st we find that with few exceptions these come 
from the White side. The Deer occurs twice, once in Hitchiti and 
once in Eufaula Hoba^-i, but in the latter case there is an alternative 
possibdity, wliile the former applies simply to the last organization 
of the Hitchiti square. Nevertheless this clan is said to have been 
used at Tukabahchee as henihalgi during the women's dance. The 
old woman who gave me the data for Apalchicola said that anciently 



the Hitchiti square was the same as in the Apalchicola town. On the 
other hand the Seminole Hitchiti had the Toad clan, generally con- 
sidered akin to the Deer, as their henihalgi. The Deer was, however, 
considered a White clan in Chiaha, and Chiaha anciently spoke the 
Hitchiti language. It is therefore possible that the Deer was once a 
Wliite clan among Hitcliiti-speaking people. Again, the Alligator 
and their allies were the henihalgi at Hilibi and Upper Eufaula, 
perhaps also in the Mikasuki town; indeed an old Mikasuki Indian 
told me that the Alligator were considered the henihalgi among aU 
Seminole. Wliile tliis does not seem to agree with the statements of 
other Seminole Indians there may nevertheless have been truth in it, 
since the clans given as henihas among the Seminole are often those 
which furnished the second cliief, and the old organization appeai-s 
to have fallen to pieces. Possibly the position of the Alligator as 
henihalgi may have resulted from the influence exerted by the Eufaula 
band who formed a considerable body among the Seminole. The 
AUigator, like the Deer, was also sometimes a White clan, and much 
more frequently. The Aktayatci are given as henihalgi among the 
Alabama by one informant, but the Alabama town is small and the 
organization badly broken down, and, besides, another informant 
stated that the Alligator or Bird were the only henihas. Moreover, 
the Aktayatci in Alabama were said to form part of the same phratry 
as the Deer which is sometimes White. Only in the Abihka towns 
have we a well accredited case of a clan of henihas never reckoned 
among the Whites. But although the Raccoon clan there plainly 
performed the functions of the henihalgi one of the very men who 
gave me the information stated that the south bed was called "bed 
of the henihalgi "' because the Wind clan sat there, and he added that 
"it was understood that in every town the Wind clan were the heni- 
halgi." The chief of the Mikasuki said the same thing. This, of 
course, can onlj' mean that in the Abilika toAvn there has been a 
dislocation of the older usage. 

An inspection of the table shows the Wind clan mentioned as henihas 
seventeen times, eight times without qualification. Next stand the 
Bird, mentioned ten times, and the Bear four times. There can be 
little doubt that it was the general ojjinion that the Wind should be 
henilialgi, and I am inchned to believe that anciently they were so to a 
greater extent than at present, but as far back as Hawkins's time we 
know that they were not hemlialgi in a town as important as Kasihta; 
perhaps their enjoyment of this dignity was partly theoretical and 
never carried out in all cases. Nevertheless it is certain that almost 
invariably the henihalgi were a Wliite clan, and tliis 1 believe once 
to have been universally the case, for the henihas were associated 
with peace and sometimes their bed was called the "white or peace 


Turninof to the chiefs, we do not find such a simple proposition. 
The chief was selected from the Bear clan in 8 and possibly 11 
cases, from the Beaver in 4, from the Aktayatci in 3 and possibly 4, 
from the Raccoon in 2 to 4, the Bird in from 1 to 4, the Fox or 
Potato in 2 to 3, the Wind in perhaps 3, the Kapitca in 2 cases, and 
the Fish, Eagle, Panther, Tami, Deer, Alligator, and Snake in single 
cases. The Beaver clan furnished the chiefs in the Tulsa towns and 
in three Seminole towns which had probably drawn most of their 
population from the Tulsa towns. The Aktayatci led in Hilibi, 
Upper Eufaula, Wiogufki, and possibly Pakan tallahassee. The 
Raccoon is found in two towns traditionally related or closely con- 
nected, Tukabahchee and Kealedji, and in Koasati, a near neighbor. 
The Bird occurs in tliis position principally in Hitchiti and Hitcliiti 
Seminole, the Wind in the Lower Creek towns, particularly Coweta, 
and in Tuskegee, the Fox and Potato in the related towns of Chiaha 
and Osochi, and the Kapitca in Lower Eufaula and in Eufaula Sem- 
inole. Of the isolated cases the Eagle is already explained as a branch 
of or now incorporated with the Raccoon, and in the same way the 
Fish was an old branch of, or has been incorporated into, the Wind. 

The other single cases are all reported from towns that have long 
given Tip the busk or which are known to have been reduced very 
much in numbers and otherwise disorganized. They also occur some- 
times where there is disagreement. The Bear clan is the only one 
that by the number of cases and their distribution suggests a position 
for the cliieftainship similar to that of the Wind for the henihalgi. 
This is brought out more strongly by the discovery of several cases 
in which the Bear has been superseded by some other clan only in 
recent times. By several early WTiters we find it stated that the 
White towns were governed by cliiefs and the Red towns by warriors. 
It is evident that tastanagis were never chiefs of towns; therefore all 
this statement could mean is that the chiefs of Red towTis were drawn 
from Red clans. Examining our lists we find that, in fact, with two 
exceptions, all of the Wliite towns about which there is unanimity 
of opinion were ruled by cliiefs di-awn from Wliite clans. Of the two 
exceptions one, Wiogufld, claimed relationsliip with Eufaula and 
Hilibi, and is said to have been originally a Red town, while the other, 
Koasati, has long ceased to have busks, and the organization that is 
remembered is probably one that was adopted after the older form 
had been partly given up. There are a few other Wliite to\\Tis which 
some hold to have been ruled by Red clans, but one of them, Wiwohka, 
was thought to be composed of refugees from all cjuarters, and it 
early became reduced and disorganized. Another, Pakan talla- 
hassee, which now has the same head clan as Hilibi, Wiogufki, and 
Eufaula, has in late years been closely associated mth those towTis. 
Finally, Gatschet was told that the miko of Hitchiti was a Raccoon, 


and Jackson Lewis said the same thing. This is perhaps to be ac- 
counted for by the influence of Tukabahchee, but it is confessedly 
diliicult to exphiin. Turning to the Red towns we find tliat all of 
them were indeed headed by Red clans except Coweta, Atasi, f .aplako, 
Alabama, and one or two Seminole towns. The Seminole towns need 
not be considered on account of the disturbance wliich they sufl'ered 
at the time of the removal to Florida and again in the removal to 
Oldahoma. Alabama may also be disregarded, as it is well known 
that it was formerly on the White side, associated with Okchai, and 
the case of Atasi may be dismissed because only one or two persons 
know anything about it and the organization as they remember it 
was evidently very much altered. Coweta and Laplako, however, 
constitute important exceptions which can not so readily be brushed 
aside. There is reason to believe that the clans known to have held 
the chieftainship, or related clans of the same side, were long in occu- 
pancy of the head position. Nevertheless generally we do have an 
apparent conformity in leadership between Wliite clans and White 
to\ras, and Red clans and Red towns. We know that both chiefs 
and henihas were changed in recent times owing to the playing out 
of clans. Originally the chiefs of Okchai were chosen from the Bear 
and Wind because they are powerful, but later changed to the Raccoon 
and Deer because they are peaceful. If there were many deaths 
in a town the circumstance might be attributed to the ruling clan 
and the clans be changed for better luck. 

We now turn to the second point to be determined — the position 
of the clans in the different beds or arbors. To prepare the ground 
for this, however, it will be necessary first to indicate the position 
which the beds occupied in the various towns. Although, as ex- 
plained above, the names of these varied to some extent I shall 
call them the chiefs' bed, warriors' bed, henihas' bed, and youths' 
bed. Originally the women had no seats inside the square but had 
to content themselves -ndth the rough benches beyond its limits. 
Adair says that the only women admitted into the Chickasaw^ 
tcokofa during ceremonials were six "old beloved women" who 
entered once annually to take part in a certain dance. At other 
times, however, he states that women could sit on each side of the 
door. In some few cases it is impossible to distinguish the two, or 
even the three, last named beds, but this will disturb the general result 
very slightly. In the following table I indicate these positions for 
the various towns in accordance with the best information obtainable. 

■ Supposing tbat the town he was describing was actually Chickasaw. See p. 590. 



[ETn. ANN. 42 


Chiefs' bed 

Warriors' bed 

Henihos' bed 

Youths' bed 

Talladega. . 




N (wanting). 
N (wanting). 
N (for visi- 

Abihka (near Eufaula) 




S (west end) _ 


S ._ 



E (north 




Kan-tcati _____ 

W -__ 

tors) . 
N (wanting). 

S (wanting). 








according to Swan _ 




S8 (N) 













N.. __. 


Tulsa Little River 

Tulsa Canadian (?) 


S2 _. 

E (for visi- 




N3 (S) 

W __ 



Tcatoksofka_ _ 




N and S. 




Nuvaka _ 


W ___ 


Talmutcasi __ __ 

N ._ 



Pakaii tallahassee_ _ _. 

N .. 









E (wanting) . 

Wiogufki (1) 





N (wanting) . 

Tukpafka.- _. 

W - 

E (wantine). 

Asilanabi . _. . 

W -- 



Laloealga _ _ 





Wiwohka (1)__ 


S (wanting). 
N (wanting). 

N (wantine) . 

(2)_ _ _.- 




Koasati No. 1 

Koasati No. 2 _ 



W _-- 




N * 




Atasi (1)_ _ ___ _ 


N._ __ 




N... _ . 
























Laphiko . 
















Upper Eufaula 

Alabama _. 

W (wanting). 


Kasihta ' 






E (wanting). 

Hitchiti. ___ 










' Actually Swan transposes these two but, as I have already said (p. 182), I think we may fairly assume 

a mistake in the notes or in the transcription made from them. 

' The warriors and the henihas occupied different parts of the same bed. There was no East bed in 
Tulsa Canadian. 

* According to two informants. 

* Speck, on the authority of Laslie Cloud, places the warriof: in both the North and East beds, and 
it is true that the imaJa or warriors of the second class sat in the North bed. 

6 In modern times the henihas actually sat with the chiefs in the West bed. 
Those two beds are now entirely wanting. 
' All authorities, including Hawkins, agree. 
8 There was no East bed. 





Chiefs' bed 

Warriors' bed 

Henihas' bed 

Youths' bed 

Coweta (1) 



Eufaula Hobayi 

Chiaha (1) 














S (east end) . 




S (west end) 












N (?) 







S .-.- 






Osochi '» 


Ochesee _ 


Okfuskee Seminole 

Tallahasutci _ _ _ 





Hitchiti Seminole 


Eufaula Seminole 


E (wanting). 




Chiaha Seminole 







' There was no name for the North bed. 

10 According to two informants. 

The cliiefs' bed vre find almost always to the west, and, excepting 
in one case, always to the west among the Lower Creeks and the 
Seminole. The to-\^ni square which Adair describes, whether it 
was Creek or Chickasaw, also had the cluefs' bed to the west, and 
he tells us specifically that it lay to the west in the old town of Coosa 
which has long since vanished. The exceptions are in the cases of the 
Okfuskee towns, ^^ Pakan tallahassee, Atasi, and Upper Eufaula, in 
which it was north; Liwahali and Alabama in which it was east; and 
"Koasati No. 1" and the early Chiaha square in which it was south. 
1 do not feel thorough confidence in the data from Atasi, Liwahali, 
and Koasati No. 1, but the cases for the Okfuskee towns, Pakan talla- 
hassee. Upper Eufaula, and Alabama are proved by the existing 
stpiares. Chiaha and Koasati No. 1 may perhaps be explained by 
Tukabahchee in which the bed lies southwest and is said sometimes to 
lie west and again to he south. Possibly the peculiar reverse arrange- 
ment among the Alabama is due to the fact that the Alabama were at 
one time adopted by the Okchai who told them that they might "sit 
on the other side of their fire." At that time, therefore, their chiefs 
may have occupied the east cabin, and they may have retained the 
same position after separating from the Okchai. In the case of the 
Okfuskee I can only say that, as their towns lay w^eU to the north and 
east, they may have desired to face somewhat inward toward the rest 
of the nation. But this is purely conjecture. Turning to the war- 
riors' bed we find that in about 23 cases it was to the north, in 12 to 
16 south, 6 to 1 1 east, and 5 or 6 west. In Hawkins's description of 

•'■ Tcatolisofka, which seems to constitute an exception, has long been abandoned and information 
regarding it is somewhat doubtful. 


a Creek square it is placed to (he north, but in those given by Swan 
and Adaii- to the south. Both positions were therefore relatively old, 
and tliere is no reason to doubt that the east and west positions may 
be old also, since the former is decisively characteristic of the Abihka 
towns while the latter is just as characteristic of the Okfuskee towns, 
Pakan tallahassee, and Alabama. The bed of the henihas is on the 
south side IS to 28 times, on the north 6 to 10 times, on the east 10 to 
12, and on the west once or twice. I doubt the correctness of the 
cases in which it is reported on the west, but all of the other posi- 
tions probably occurred. In many cases it is difficult to determine 
the henilias' bed with certainty, since the name applied to it changed 
more than that of any other bed and the henilias themselves were 
frequently seated in the same cabin as the chiefs. The least impor- 
tant of all the beds was that which I have called the youths' bed, also 
used for visitors, for mixing the medicine, for storing articles, and in 
later times omitted altogether. This bed, or the space marking its 
absence, was on the east between 21 and 25 times, on the south 8 to 
14 times, on the north 6 to 8 times, and on the west once or twice. 
One of the last, it should be observed, occurs in one of the extant 
square grounds. The characteristic positions for these beds were, there- 
fore, west for that of the chiefs, north for that of the warriors, south 
for the henihas, and east for the youths. However, the warriors' bed 
was often south or east, the hemhas' east or north, and the youths' 
south. When the chiefs' bed was shifted out of the west it was 
almost always to the north. There is practically no native explana- 
tion for the different positions which the beds occupied in different 
towns. Big Jack of Hilibi recalled a belief that the chiefs were made 
to face those they opposed in the ball games, but this would not hold 
for one-half of the Creek towns. 

The location of the four beds now being determined for each town 
as closely as the matezial will permit, let us proceed, using this as 
a guide, to place the clans in them. In the following table is given 
as complete a statement of their positions as possible. The capital 
letters indicate the cardinal point of each bed and the small letters in 
parentheses whether this belonged to the chiefs, henihas, warriors, or 





















Ab ika-in-the-West- 















Tulta Little River.. 


W(c)(— ).... 
























N, S 


N, S 

.\bihkutci ._ 




Pakan tallahassee... 










S(w)(— ).... 

SCh), ECw) 











S(h) » 







N(h) (—).... 




N(h) (—).... 




N(h), W(c) 




N(h), W(c) 





Koasati No. 1 


Koasati No. 2 . 












W(c), S(h) 







































Upper EufauJa. 

Eufaula Hobayi 






























































Osochi. . 

SCh)C— ) 




























SCh 7) 


1 The seating is not by clans. 
82517''— 28 14 



(ETII. ANN. i2 















A bihka-ln-tbo- West. 





Kan-tcati - - 









NCh) • 

Tulsa Little River.. 




S(y) __. 

N(w) and S 



NCw) • 


SCy) ( 

N, S.- 


N, S. 




SCy). .- 




S(w)Wte — 



E (y), E(w). 




















E(w)(S(h)) . 








Koasati No. 2 





























Upper Eufaula 









S(h)(and N 














ECh). NCw), 




SCh) . --. 


















WCc)C— ) 























WCc), N(w) 

W(c). N(w) 

> The seating is not by clans, 














Otciapofa 1 . . 


Tulsa Little River.. 







N, S 




Pakan tallahassfe-_. 











Koasati No. 2 












W(c) - 

Upper Eufaula 


Eufaulallobayi... . 








Okmulgee . 









Likatcka __. 

Chiaha.. _ 
















W(c) .... 






> Tbe seating is not by clans. 



[eTH. ANN. 42 



Fox Eagle 




Abihka-in-the-Wesl . 



Tulsa Little River... 


S(w) ... 

N(h) (Tcowasta) 






Nuyaka . 


Pakan tallahassee 

Wiogufki _ 



Wiwohka _. 


Tuskegee.- .. 

Koasati No. 1 

Koasati No. 2 




N(w). ... 


N(w)(CaneaQd tidjami) 


ifiwahali . 






Kasibta _ .. 


Okmxilgee ... 


W(c) (Toad(?)) 


Coweta -. 





(W(c)) (Fish) 


W(c)(— ) 



S(h) (Otter) 



Hitchiti _- 

S(h) (Toad and Tcokote) 



\V(c) (Otter) 

' The seating is not by clans. 

The following charts contain all the information that I have been 
able to obtain regarding the arrangement of the different square 
grounds, both from my own inquiries and from the writings of earlier 
investigators. Tliey are of very unequal value and leave much to be 
desired, but represent about all that it is now possible to find out. In 
some cases I have given several charts based on the information of a 




number of different informants; in othere we are dependent upon 
the testimony of only one or two of the oldest people and not much 
reliance can be placed upon it. I give the Lower Creek squares 
first, then the Upper Creek squai'es, and finally the Seminole squares, 
the squares in Wliite towms having precedence in each case. Names 
of Wliite clans have been underlined when the native responsible 
for the plan in question furnished information on the subject. 
The first plan (fig. 6) gives the square of Talladega. 


ball ground 
women enhr here 
medicine pel's 

oo, . 

hemha (Raccoon) = 
hilis haya (Bear) 


3 - ( 




1 f 

Henihas' Bed or Winds' Bed 
Fig. 6. — Plan of the Talladega Square Ground 

This represents the proper theoretical arrangement. Actually the 
Bear and Raccoon people were mixed somewhat indiscriminately' in 
the west bed. Although the Raccoon people are now the henihalgi 
it is imderstood that those of the Wind clan should fill that office, 
not only here but in every other town. The hilis-haya should be a 
Bear, as represented above, but in practice any qualified man might 
be selected, regardless of clan. 

One medicine pot contained miko hoyanidja, the other a mixtm'e 
consisting of may-apple roots, wormseed, totka djuk-hisi ("fire-bed 
moss"), wio'fa fa'ki saigi'ngi ("dirt snatched up"), tcato hatkutci 
("httle white [granite] rocks"), and totka hi'liswa ("fire medicine"). 



[ETII. ANN. 42 

Those were lor tlie ordumry stomp dances. At the busk a pot 
of pasa was added. There were about three i'sti atca'gagi in each 
bed. There was no head man among the tastanagis; all were 
called ui counc:il by the miko when it was necessary to remodel the 
ground or undertake any other matter of the sort. The accom- 
pan>'ing plan of the entire Talladega ground (fig. 7) was made by 
the A\Titer m 1912. 

Figure 8 shows the old AbUika 

Fig. 7. — Talladega Ceremonial Ground (includ- 
ing Square) in 1912 

ground near Eufaula, Okla. 
The cliieftainship in this 
town altei-nated between 
the Eaccoon and Bear clans, 
the second chief being of the 
Bear when the head chief was 
from the Raccoon and vice 
versa. Wlien the head chief 
died, the second chief took 
liis place. This square 
ground was given up when 
my informant was a boy. 
He stated that here, or pos- 
sibly at one of the other 
Abdika gi'ounds, there was a 
tcokofa toward the east. 

Figure 9 gives Abrhka-iu- 
the-West. Tliere were two 
pots of medicine, one con- 
taining 10 different ingredi- 
ents. The cold medicine 
was left just where it was 
fii'st prepared; the other was 
moved over to the north side 
of the fu-e. There were three 
or four i'sti atca'gagi in the 
Warriors' bed and some at 
atca'gagi decided where and 
The tastanagis and mialas, 

each post in the Winds' bed. The i'sti 

when a ball game was to be played. 

at least the big imalas, had their own cliiefs distinct from the i'sti 

atca'gagi. There were no tcukolaidji, male managers of the women's 


Figure 10 is Kan-tcati. 

The only information we have regarding the square gromid of 
the ancient Coosa town is given by Adah-, who says in a footnote: 
"I remember, hi Koosah, the uppermost western town of the 
Muskohge, wliich was a place of refuge, their supposed holiest con- 
sisted of a neat house, m the centre of the western square, and the 
door of it was in the south gable-end close to the white cabbin, each 




on a direct lin(>, north and south." ' The passage to which tliis is 
appended contains the description of a square ground so generahzed 
that it is impossible to say to what town or towns it appUed specifi- 
cally. Possibly it gives the old order of the Cliickasaw sqiiare, but 
it is probable, in any case, that the Coosa square agreed with it, since 
that was one of those with which Adair was most familiar. It lay 
upon the trail between Augusta, Ga., and the Chickasaw country. 
His remarks are as follows : " Those of them [the American aborigines] 
who yet retain a supposed most holy place, contrary to the usage of 


ball ground 


Ihenihas andWiites 

miko apokte(Bear) =„= 
miko fRaccoonl U 

broughh from eas^ bed 




Part of 



Fig. 8.— Plan of the Abihka Square Ground (near Eufaula, Okla.) 

the old heathen world, have it standing at the west end of the holy 
quadi-angular ground: and they always appoint those of the meanest 
rank, to sit on the seats of the eastern square, so that theiz' backs 
are to the east, and faces to the west. The red scjuare looks north; 
and the second men's cabbin, as the traders term the other square, 
of course looks south." It is to be noted that Adair uses the word 
"square" for each cabin or bed. Accepting this as the arrangement 
at Coosa, the square would be about as in Figure 11. 

It is possible that Adair means by "looks north" and "looks 
south," "lies north" and "lies south," in which case the relative 
positions of the henihas' and warriors' beds would have to be trans- 

' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds . p. 112. 



[ETH. ANN 42 

posed. Be that as it may, the description shows that the Coosa 
square was very similar to those of the Coweta and Kasihta, the 
other principal towns of pm-e Muskogee stock, and it seems to be 
confirmed by what we know of the daughter town Otciapofa. The 
inclosed place where the sacred vessels and other objects were kept 
may not have extended to the very front of the west bed as I have 
represented, but such a position is plainly indicated by the wording 
in Adair. 


VisiHors Bed 



■) — 

□ u 

Visil-ors oF same Fire 



A Q 








(Deer clan sah 
wiHi hhem) 

Bi^ Imalas 

LitUe Imalas 

AUigator, Wuid , 


Winds' Bed 
Fig. 9.— Plan ol the Square Oroiind of Abihka-in-the-West 

In Figure 12 is what is probably the Otciapofa ground, reproduced 
from Swan. Figure 13 shows the later plan of Otciapofa as de- 
scribed to me personally. Four isti atcagagis sat in each of these 
three beds; there was no south bed as far back as my informant 
could remember. The plan of the Otciapofa busk ground (fig. 14) 
was made by the writer in 1912. 

In Figure 15 is shown the Tulsa Little River square. 

There were very few of the Panther clan in this town, and but 
one or two belonging to the Kapitca. The old tcokofa is said to 




have lain to the west, probably iii the same situation as that of 

Figure 16 shows the square as it existed m 1911. 

Figure 17 is from a rough native description of Tulsa Canadian. 

Figures 18 and 19 show the arrangement of Lutcapoga according 
to two different authorities. The data for the first were given me 
by Legus Ferryman, except that the east bed and the tcokofa are 
added on the authority of his brother. The latter also stated that 


ball ground 


l-he pasa 

Onere fo be warmed 

heniha (Raccoon) (1 


miko (Bear) 





(Warriors' Bed) 

3 ' 


1 ■• 

Fig. 10. — Plan of the Square Ground of Kan-tcati 

the Aktayatci were the tastanagis here, and that the hihs-haya sat 
in the front seat in the Bear's bed. 

This town was founded because the Tulsa people had become so 
numerous that their square was overcrowded. The tastanagi was 
speakerfor the miko, and the words "he says so and so" occurred over 
and over in his discourses. The italwa miko was assistant to the 
miko. The taski heniha was a leader in the women's dance, a "white 
dance" called itcha obanga.'* There was another women's dance at 
the end of the ceremony which was a war dance danced by the Potato 

'■ See p. 009 in following paper. Originally it seems to have been a war dance. 



[ETI!. ANN. 42 

people (Ahalagi). The Aktayatci liad charge of and distril)iitcd 
the medicine, although the hilis-haya himself could belong to any 

The old tcokofa was provided on the east side with a special seat 
for the women. It had a smoke hole. 

The chief of Lutcapoga about 1852 was a man named Hadji 
yahola, who was succeeded by Tciyaha. This man died about 1857 
and was followed by Talsi fiksiko, mIio died in the winter of 1862. 


Henihas' Bed 

Where hhe sac- 
red vessels, ech 
were keph, 'hne 
mosh holy place" 




















Warriors' Bed 
Fig. U. — Conjectural arrangement of the Coosa Square Ground 

Next came in succession Miko fiksiko and Itchaswa (Beaver). The 
last was living in 1912. 

Figure 20 is Nuyaka. My informant stated that there were only 
two individuals belonging to the Panther clan in tliis town, and that 
no especial place was provided for the Deer clan. Figure 21 is a 
plan of the entire biisk ground as it appeared in 1912. 

Figure 22 is from a native description of Okfuskee. 

There were very few in this town belonging to the Potato and 
Raccoon clans and they probably sat in the south bed. Besides the 
two isti atcagagi in the east bed there was one in each of the others. 




Fig. 12. — Plan of a Creek Ceremonial Ground as given by Swan. The top of 
this illustration is west instead of north. 1, Square; 2, Tcokofa; 3, Chun- 
key yard 

hwopohs oF medicine (bohh cold) 
O O 

hem ha (Wind) 
hilis haya (Wind) 

ball ground 
FiQ. 13.— Plan of the Otciapofa Square Ground 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

In the adiloga medicine they used maypop root (obaha), totka 
hiUswa, wilana (wormseed) , and totka djukhisi (fire bed moss). The 
miko hoyanidja did not go in with these. 

Figure 23 is Ahihkutci and Figure 24 contains all of the information 
I could obtain regarding Talmutcasi. 

The younger brother of the woman from whom this information 
came gave a different description of the square, but it was so close to 
that of Tukabalichee that I believe it can not be rehed upon, and 
that it was a deduction from the belief that all of the other squares 
were modeled on that of Tukabalichee. 

The next (fig. 25) shows Tcatoksofka. The rank of clans in the 
west bed is said to have been as follows : Bear, Beaver, Bird. Visiting 
chiefs were seated in the same beds as the chiefs of the town visitin^ 
warriors in the same beds as the warriors, and so on. The occupants 

of the Chiefs' bed took their 
medicine first, then those in the 
east bed, and finally those in 
the north and south beds. The 
two common medicines, miko 
hoyanidja and pasa, were used. 
Figures 26 and 27 give the 
plan of Pakan tallahassee as 
recorded from two different 
informants. The numbers back 
of the beds indicate the order 
in which their occupants came 
out to take the medicine. 
According to one informant the 
tliird and fourth chiefs belonged 
to the Bear clan instead of the 
Panther clan as here given; 
another stated that the Panther 
people were not confined to a 
particular part of the Cliiefs' bed but could sit anywhere. Tlie bearers 
of the medicine consisted of two of the Bird clan, one of the Deer, 
and one of the Bear. The four leaders of the women were taken, one 
each, from the Wind, Deer, Bear, and Bird clans. They took their 
medicine at the northeast corner and fasted one day and one night. 
My authority for the second plan stated that the people of the 
Bird clan were called isti atcagagi, and that imalas are not used 
any more. 

The accompanying plan of this ground (fig. 28) is from data ob- 
tained in 1912. 

In Plate 2 is showm the Pakan tallahassee busk ground looking 
east (6) and the north or Chiefs' bed (c) as they appeared in the sum- 
mer of 1912. 

Fig. 14. — Otciapofa Ceremonial Ground in 1912 


(Irivral vi-vv cif Ihe Hd k ■ .i-uiiihI nl ( ■iinli.i, Sciiiinnlc ( .xiiii ;, , i ilda.. iii l:il2 

''. The Square Clround of Pakan tallahasseo near Haiuia, Okla.. in 1912 

... Th.- ,\..rlli i.r Chiefs' lloii (.f Takaii tallaha.^^L•l! 


Besides the clans enumerated above there were some Raccoon and 
Potato and in ancient times some Beaver. There were never any 
Alligator, Bear, or Bird. Two men sang for the women when they 
danced, one man carrying a white gourd rattle, the other a blue one. 

Figure 33 is a rough diagram based on a study of the site of the 
last Tukjiafka square groimd. We now come to the Fish Pond 
Towns. Figure 34 shows Asilanabi. 

Besides the clans given there were a few individuals belonging to 
the Aktayatci clan, but these sat anywhere. The Raccoon clan 
were leaders of the Tcilolds and were followed in order of rank by 


ball post about i^fthigh 



tr\ en {h ( J 

Fig. 16.— Tulsa Little River Ceremonial Ground in 1911 

the Panther, Deer, Beaver, Aktayatci, and Alligator in sticcession. 
The old tcokofa was placed as in the plan, to the northwest of the 
square, but after they returned at the conclusion of the Civil War, 
an old man who had preserved ashes from the tcokofa throughout 
that contest said that it would not be good to use the old place again, 
so he deposited the ashes just east of the east bed. It does not appear, 
however, that a new tcokofa was erected over them. It is said that 
in reality there ought to be tlii'ee beds, each having eight posts, 
instead of the four Avith six posts. The one left out was probably 
that on the east. The accompanying plan of tliis square (fig. 35) is 
from data gathered in 1912 by the author. 




Tasikayas' Bed 

Figure 36 is Okchai. According to my informant, the Wind clan 
were known as isti atcagagi. He stated that the tastanagis could 
overrule the niLko sometimes on the ground that a thing was imcon- 

The plan shown m Figure 37 represents the square ground as it 
existed in 1911-12. 

Figure 38 is Lalogal- 
ga or Fish Pond jiroper. 

According to another 
informant — in whom I 
do not, however, place 
imlimited confidence — 
the east bed was used 
for visitors, and the 
north bed occupied 
throughout by the Deer 
clan. He placed the 
Aktayatci and Tami in 
the northern compart- n 
mcnt of the west bed, %, 


the Pahosa and Potato rp 
in the middle section, "- 
and "old people" in the 
southern. The medi- 
cine pots were at the 
north end of the same 
bed, and the pot of 
medicme for the women 
and childi'en was at the 
south end of this bed; 
the women also entered 
to dance at the latter 
place. In the south bed 
were the rest of the 




— 1 






















Tastanagis , Imalas, 



Warriors' Bed 
Fig. 17. — Plan of the Square Ground of Tulsa Canadian 

clans, the henihas being in the easternmost section. In Figure 39 is 
a plan of the Lalogalga square as it existed in 1912. 

Figures 40 and 41 show Wiwohka. The essential differences 
between these two plans of the square may be explained if we suppose 
that the second informant, or my interpreter, misunderstood the 
location of the north bed and placed it on the south side. The cor- 
rectness of the first plan is confirmed by a third account which in 
other respects is inferior to either of those given. The only other 
discrepancy is in the position of the Wind clan which the fu'st inform- 
ant placed in the north bed and the second in the west bed. This 
was perhaps due to an assumption on the part of the second informant 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

that tho henihas would 1)o seated in the same bed as the miko's 
henilia. My third informant also committed an evident blunder in 
placing the Chief's bed to the east instead of the west. All three 
agreed in giving the Panther clan as that of the chiefs and the Wind 
clan that of the henihas. 

In Figure 42 is a plan of Tuskegee by one of its former chiefs. 
One informant thought that the Potato were the henihas, but I 






(f+iis dan 
had conlrol 
of rtie medicine) 

ball ground 

medicine . 
was made here '• 

halwa miko (Beaver) 
miko (Beaver) (1 


FiQ. 18. — Plan of the Lutcapoga Square Ground (I) 

believe this to have been a mistake. It is probable that the Wind 
clan originally constituted the henihas but subsequently came to 
furnish the chiefs. 

Figure 43 is the square ground of the same tovm as remembered by 
another informant. The plan given by Doctor Speck on the authority 
of Lashe Cloud confirms both of the preceding in the main in regard 
to the uses to which the various beds were put, and it confirms that 
of the first informant, Silas Jefferson, in regard to the position occu- 
pied by the medicine pots.* 

' Speck in Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 112 




There were two groups of Koasati Indians in Oklahoma, each 
with its own square ground. The square of the first, called Koasati 
No. 1, was given up so long ago that not much can be recalled regard- 
ing it. David Cmnmings, who attended the busks at this ground 
when he was a boy, although ho was not a Koasati himself, stated 
that there were fom- beds, and that the open space between them 
was entirely covered with an arbor. The Chief's bed, as he re- 
membered, was on the south, and the miko himself of either the 


Imatas' Bed 




Boys and 
young men 
offhe fb- 
taho and 

ball ground 





Beaver x 



miko heniha (Bird) | 
m I ko (Beaver) J 

hi I IS baya (Beaver by preference) 

vJa pol" of pasa and miko 
hoyanidje mixed ^oge^he^ 



Alli6ahor an 
Ibaclf parh or i 

Young men 
Eagle Akhayaki 
nd Kapita ssh m The 
lis bed 




(oul-side of 
l^he fasHng fime) 


enher he 

Warriors Bed 
Fig. 19.— Plan of the Lutcapoga Square Ground (II) 

Bear or the Panther clan. The Wind clan sat at the east end of 
the Chief's bed and were jn'obably the henihas, though of this he 
was not certain. The ball ground was on the east and the women 
entered at the southeast corner. The Warriors' bed was probably 
on the east. 

The later square, Koasati No. 2, is shown in Figure 44. 

Figures 45-47 are plans of the Tukabahchee square ground from 
as many different informants. The first said that if it were possible 
the hilis-haya was selected from the Raccoon clan ; if that position is 
82517°— -28 15 



[ETU. ANN. 42 

filled from any othor clan, the man so chosen is seated at the west 
end of the north bed. The tcunuk hadjo and the holahta in the 
Youths' section arc the only officers who do not have henihas. One 
of the tastanagis was known as Kosa Tastanagi. He belonged to 
the Wind clan, and his mate was a Raccoon called Tukabahchee 
Tastanagi. The Youths prepared the feather wands for the feather 
dance just back of the central portion of the Chiefs' bed. 


Chiefs' Bed 





- » « n 



S" 3 

women enher here 


(warriors of common 



all clans) 

Fig. 20. — Plan of the Nuyaka Square Ground 

According to the second informant the clans might change their 
positions in a bed but not the bed itself, and according to the third 
all of the clans in the north, east, and south beds were Tcilokis. 

Figure 48 is a plan of the busk ground made in 1912. 

Figure 49 gives the arrangement of the old busk ground near 
Melette, Okla., as nearly as it could be made out in 1912-1914. Plate 




3, b, shows the south or southeast bed of Tukabahchee and Plate 
3, c, the square looking tlirough the western entrance, between the 
beds of the Chiefs and Warriors. Plate 5, a, shows the mound 
where the buffalo and war dances were performed. 

Figures 50 and 51 are based on the recollections of two of the oldest 
and best informed Atasi Indians. Tlie father of the man who fur- 
nished me with the information on which the first is based was chief 
of Atasi; his war name was Fus hatci miko. 

Still another informant said that the Cliiefs' bed was in the west 
and the Warriors' bed in the north, and that the medicine pots were 

E" ^oal o 

Fig. 21.— Nuyaka Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

at the north end of the former. The details given thus agree exactly 
with the arrangement of Tukabahchee with which I believe the 
informant had confused it, since Atasi is supposed to have been a 
branch of that town. He said that the medicines were hke those 
used at Tukabahchee, and that the last chief was of the Bird clan, 
the one before him of the Bear clan. According to another informant 
the last cliief was a Raccoon, the one before jirobably a Bear; and 
he added that the last chief's heniha was a Bear, the one before a Deer. 
Figures 52 and 53 embody two descriptions of the square of 
Kealedji. The isti atcagagi sulga sat at the south end of the Chief's 



(eTH. ANN. 42 

Accompanying is a rough sketch (fig. 54) of the first square ground 
used by the people of this town after they moved across the Mississippi 
River as it appeared in 1912 after having been abandoned a great 
many years. 

The Laplako square is shown in Figures 55 and 56. There were a 
few isti atcagagi in the west bed. 


Chiefs Bed 



Bear and 


fet-W end probably) 

!al" Lend probably) 

T x_2_ 

X r 

^\ I 


3 C 











> < 










■> <■ 

2, a 

Panlher, Aktayatci 

Deei-, TaTni.AUi^ator, Turkey, 

and in fach almosb any clan no^ 
provided for in hhe ol'Ker 
beds-, also youhhs. 

women ent'er here 

Tasikayas Bed 

/ hcokofe 1 

Fig. 22. — Plan of the Okfuskee Square Ground 

According to my second informant eiglit men belonging to the 
Wind and Raccoon clans were a])]>ointed to procure the medicines 
and bring the water. 

The discrepancies between these two plans may be accounted for 
largely by the fact that my second informant was a Tukabahchee 
who seems to have confused the Laplako square with that of his own 
town to some extent. However, the arrangement of the Tukabah- 




chec square was considered "standard" by many people, and it is 
probable that that of Lapiako was modified in hiter times to agree 
with it. The second informant also stated that the Cliiefs' bed was 
on the south, agam in agreement with the Tukabahchee plan, 
although in fact the latter is rather southwest, the entrances ))etween 
the beds being directed toward the carchnal points. Accompanying 
(fig. 57) is a rough plan of the ground where the people of tliis town 
met before a ball game. 


Chiefs' Bed 

3 i 




(all young people) 

xhihs haya (Deer 
by preference) 


, X X c 



women enter here 





Raccoon, Fox, 

Potato, Deer, 




Tcilokls' Bed 

Fig. 23.— Plan of the Abihkutci Square Ground 

Figure 58 shows the last organization of the Liwahali square just 
before it petered out. The luUs-haya was always of the Deer clan 
and sat with his own people. This ground, as here represented, was 
in the stage of decline, and not much can be inferred from it. 
The old man who furnished me \nth the best data regarding Laplako, 



(ETH. ANN. 42 

a comparatively late offshoot from Liwahali, stated that the latter 
ground was originally identical with that of Laplako except that the 
miko was a Panther and the heniha a Deer. 

This town used several squares in succession before the Civil War, 
and two afterwards. My informant stated that the tastanagis were 
appointed from any cl^ns occupying the south bed. If the miko had 
to leave the square for any reason the miko apokta took charge. 

Chiefs B 



clans mixed 


tfie Bird 


at- fhe 

eas^ end 

X X 

Several clans mixed 

Old Peoples Bed 
Fig. 24.— Plan of the Talmutcasi Square Ground 

The ball ground was not close to the square but at some distance 
from it. He stated that the clans ranked thus: Deer, Aktayatci, 
Panljier, Bird, Bear, Wind, AUigator. There was only one individual 
of the Wind clan and there were but few of the Bird, Bear, and 

The Hilibi square is given in Figure 59. Anciently there were 
eight posts to the bed instead of six. When I first visited the HiUbi 
square the north bed had not been built; it was piit up last. The 
old men who sing for the women during their dance sit at the west 




end of the Raccoon's section of the south bed. In taking medicine 
the west bed goes first, then the south, and then the east, but some 
men in the back part of all tJie beds go last of all. The accompanying 
plan (fig. 60) is from data collected by the writer in the winter of 
1912 before the north bed was erected. 

There were some eight camps about this ground. It was too new 
to have developed a tadjo of any size, but that of the ground occu- 


Holahhas' Bed (Tasikayas') 

Panther, Deer, Turkey, 
Raccoon, Alligator. 











































Panther, Deer, Inrkey, 
Raccoon, Alligatoi- 

Holaiihas Bed (Tasikayas) 
FiQ. 25.— Plan of the Tcatoksofka Square Ground 

pied immediately before this was about 220 paces in circuit. If a 
tcokofa were to be erected it would be toward the east. Plate 4, 
h, shows the Chiefs' bed in 1912. 

Figure 61 represents the Eufaula (or Upper Eufaula) square as it 
is supposed to have appeared anciently, my authority being Jackson 

Figure 62 shows the actual arrangement in modern times as 
explained by the hiUs-haya. 



|KTH. ANN. 42 

There were said to be only seven Tami and three Turkey people 
in this town. The imalas should be of the Raccoon clan but there 
never were any in Eufaula, according to the second informant. He 
probably meant that there had been none there within his recollection. 
The Hathao;alo;i included the Wind, Bear, Bird, Turkey, and Tami. 
There is one of the isti atcagagi belonging to the Bear clan in the 
north bed, one belonging to the Deer clan in the east bed, and one 
belonging to the Aktayatci in the south bed. These men give new 

TOuhhs of Aktayaki 


ills hay; 




Chiefs' Bed i 

Youfhs of Wind 
medicine poK ) and Panhher 
hilishayax ^^Vind(henihas)Ci 
and Rinther 
(indudin* a few 


















medicine =^ ?^ ?T <;;-. 
for boys "'''-'' ^ 

of medicine 
hhe women 
and children. 

^ S; ?. 
Q, to -r 
OOO- ™ 

oi {A n 



women enfer here 

lasf place whereQ 
medicine is taken 
before fhey go home 

Bird () Bear c 

In the rear seats sat the bovs 
of the Bird and Esar and according 
to one informant the Alligator 
Tami, and Turkey clans ^ 

Uwhere women 
and childnen take 
t+ieir medicine 

' Hafhagas' Bed 
Fig. 26.— Plan of the Pakan tallahassee Square Ground (I) 

names to boys. A different authority from any of the above stated 
that the Eufaula chief was anciently taken from the Eagle clan. 
This might well have been, since the Eagle was reckoned a branch of 
the Raccoon which, as appears from these plans, sat in the bed of the 
chiefs. The accompanying plan of this ground (fig. 63) represents it 
as it existed in 1912. 

Plate 3, a, gives a general view of the ground, looking from the 
southwest, and Plate 4, c, is a nearer view of the small house in 
which the imi^lements used in the annual ceremony were stored. 


C amp at ci-remoiii:!.! i;.nun< 

6. The Chiefs Bed at Hilibi, winter of 1911-12 

c. Cabin for the ceremonial utensils, biick of the Cliiefs' Bed at Eufaula 


im l^.'**^^' 

tt. llomul for the War and Bullalo dances in the old Tulcabahchcc L'lisk Ground near 

Mclctte, Okla. 

b. The Alabama Square CJrnund in the summer of 1912 looking northwest 

c. Th3 Square Ground of Liwahali Seminole in 1912, looking northeast 




Figures 64-66 illustrate three descriptions of the Alabama square 
ground. There were no isti atcagagi, the tastanagis taking their 
places. Tlie medicine pots were kept outside of the grovmds; ten 
difl'erent medicines were put into one of them. 

The accompanj-ing outline of the Alabama busk groiuid (fig. 67) 
was made from data collected in 1912. 

In Plate 5, b, the Alabama square is showTi looking from the 

ChieFs' Bed 


> and , 

Pandier , 


X X , 


medicine poVs 





(including Pohal^o) 



ball Ground 

women ent'er here 


'(including Beaueri ( 
Hie Alligahor.Tam' 
and Turkey also 
,sal- here) 

, agaL 

(also called aFher Bird or Bear) 
Fig. 27.— Plan of the Pakan tallahassee Square Ground (II) 

Figures 68-71 show the Kasihta scjuare on the authority of 
Hawkins, Gatschet, and two of my own informants. Gatschet's 
informant was probably the Kasihta chief, Ispahihtca. In the 
origin legend which Ispahihtca related to Doctor Gatschet he calls 
the west bed Mikalgi intcuka. Chiefs' House, the east bed Hoktagi 
intcuka. Women's House, and the north bed Tastanagalgi intcuka. 
Warriors' House. Those who sat in the south bed he calls Hatki 
iputcasi, "the owners of the white."'"' 

'•See p. 59. 



[ETU. ANN. 42 

The seat of tlio liilis-liaya was not lixed; he sat with liis chin. The 
two bearers of the medicine belonged to the AJhgator ohm. The 
official called halisi tastanagi made arrangements for the ball games. 

Tlie plan of Okmulgee (fig. 72) is from information furnished by 
Judge James II. Gregory. He added that there were two rows of 
seats in each bed. Legus Ferryman remembered some facts regarding 
this town which agree for the most part with those here given. He 
thought, however, that there were only three beds, and that the 
ball groimd was to the northwest. The speeclunaker (yatika ?), a 
man of the Alvtayatci clan called Woksi miko, sat at the northwest 
corner of the south bed. 

goal posH 

Jash heap 

Irash heap c^ 

C-^^^ash ol 

Fig. 28.— Pakan tallahassee Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

Figure 73 gives the oldest remembered organization of Apalachi- 
cola. My informant, one of the oldest women of this town, added 
that the Alligator and Beaver shifted about somewhat from one bed to 
another, while individuals made imalas or tastanagis moved into the 
Warriors' bed if they were not already there. She asserted that 
tliis was the "original foundation" (or plan) of Hitchiti, Sawoldi, 
and the Lower Creek Hatci tcaba, as well as of Apalachicola. 

In Figure 74 appears the last organization of this town. 

Figure 75 is Hitchiti. In an emergency the Deer heniha could be 
made miko and the Bird mLko heniha. This was the last Hitchiti 


soclmj organization 


square, and the plan was furnished to the Indians by my oftmentioned 
informant Jackson Lewis. The Deer and Bird clans were actually 
niLxed together considerably, although the theoretical arrangement 
was as above. There were no women's dances on tliis particular 
ground. One medicine pot contained miko hoyanidja; the other 
wilana (wormseed) and "oktcim utcka," the last perhaps a Hitchiti 
term. Tlie pots were not removed from the place indicated, thoiigh 
one might have been heated there. The tastanagis and inialas 
were used instead of isti atcagagi. 


ball ground 

x l-asfanagi (any suil'able personl 
heniha(Wincl) 0_ 

medicine po^s 










'*Xl r 














3 1 


Warriors' Bed 
Fig. 29.— Plan of the Wiogufki Square Ground (I) 

Figure 76 gives the Yuchi ground as described by Dr. Frank G. 

The information wliich I myself obtained agreed in almost every 
particidar with that of Doctor Speck. Seats passed from father to 
son and in consequence the clans were mixed up in these beds indis- 
criminately. My informant added that the bearers of the medicine 
sat at the south end of the west bed, and that on the ball post were 
two cow skulls at different heights, the lower as a target for the 
women. He said that if there was no person in the west bed fitted 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

to take the j)ositi()ii of chief, someone might he hrought from one of 
the others. 

Figures 77 and 78 give plans of Coweta, the second in this case 
probably representing the older organization. The main oiitlines of 
the first were confirmed by another old man. He added that two of 
the medicine bearers were selected from the Hathagas and two from 
the Tcilokis ; they were usually two Bears and two Panthers. Tliat the 
Panther was an important clan in this town is vouched for by another 
informant, who declared it was the "leading clan." To it, it may 
be remarked, the late Creek chief, G. W. Grayson, belonged. 


ball ground 




















(t^hey could also 
siHn fhe souhh 




ll-hey could aisosih 
^n hhe west" bed ) 


(hhey could aisosil- 
in the eash bed). 

Fio. 30.— Plan of the WiogufU Square Qround (11) . 

According to the Indian tlirough whom I obtained the second 
plan the duty of the Holahta was to see that the bearers j)repared 
and distributed the medicines. 

The leader of the henihas was known as the Heniha lako. The 
three officials in the north bed attended to the medicines and other 
matters connected with the square. When visitors came they went 
over to the beds occupied by their respective clans and left the 
north bed vacant for the strangers. One of the two pots of medicine 
was warmed, the other cold. The former contained both pasa and 
miko hoyanidja, the other only pasa. 



In one place Milfort gives a description of a square which he repre- 
sents as that in which the great assembUes of the nation were held, and 
this would probably be Coweta or Tukabahchee, but from the context 
it would appear rather to have been the former. What he has to say 
concerns the grand council of the nation more than the town council 
of Coweta and it will be inserted when we come to speak of that.^ It 
is of interest to know, however, that the cabins on the west, north, 
and south were painted red, indicating a Red town like Coweta and 
Tukabahchee. That on the east ^ 

was painted white, wliich seems 
rather surprising if my first inform- 
ant is right in stating that it was oc- 
cupied by the tastanagis. Milfort, 
however, gives this as the cabin of 
the old men, and it is possible that 
it was set aside for the isti atcagagi, 
particularly since we know that 
some of the functions of these offi- 
cials were later taken over by the 
tastanagis. Milfort appears to lo- 
cate the tcokofa just where my in- 
formant indicated that it should be. 

The square ground of Likatcka 
or Broken Arrow is given in Figure 
79. The Iiilis-haya was chosen 
from the Wind clan and his tenure 
was for hfe. The medicine was 
carried around by three persons, 
one of whom was chosen from each 
of the beds, omitting that on the 
east. Tliere were officials named 
Holahta and Taskihenihalike those 
in Coweta. In practice games of 
ball the Bear and Deer took oppo- 
site sides and the others joined one ^'°' ^ 
or the other of these clans as they chose 
late arrangement. 

Figures 80 and 81 show the Square of Eufaula Hobayi (Lower 
Eufaula). This town branched out from the town of that name 
above given. It is said that the Wind clan and those who sat in the 
north bed were considered the same as tastanagis. 

The older plan of Chiaha is given in Figure 82. According to 
another informant "old Chiaha was just hke Coweta." It had a 
tcokofa before the removal west but not afterwards. The Deer clan 
was classed as Hathaga because it was considered almost the same as 
the Bird. 

eces of wood on whicli medicine I 
- was pounded up_a new one each year 
mens ballground ■" ° °- 


dr^ec^lon ' u o tt^ 

,'-"~-,ash heap 

Wiogufki Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

Probably this was a very 

• See pp. 311-313. 



[kTH. ANN. 42 

Figure 83 is from a description by Ellis Cliilders, who explained 
that the town organization as he gave it was the last and was made 
when a man of the Bird clan named Pibi'ska was miko, although 
later the miko was taken from the Wind clan as here shown. The 
reorganization was effected imder the direction of Ayima'ha, an 
Osochi born in Alabama. At that time at least a part of the Osochi 
busked with the Chiaha, though the towns had separate officials. 
There was some controversy over the right of the Bird clan to a 


Warriors' Bed 






(in la|-er 

imes hhls 

bed was 


cupied by 

a number oF clans mixed | 




probable locahon of medicine pel's 

hem ha (Panhher) 


JO ^ 









KT « 


^ n 

3 C 

0) « 









) <-' 

Wind., Panther. 

and ol-her clans 

1 O 


Fig. 32.— Plan of the Tukpafka Square Ground 

position in the west bed, but Ayima'lia ruled that it should sit 
there, and he also placed the Skunk and Fish there. All of the clans 
in the north bed are said to be henihas except perhaps the Deer. 
Anciently this town had the same three officials as those who sat in 
the north bed of Coweta, but on the reorganization they were dropped. 
The holahta is said to have made arrangements for ball games, and 
he and the taski heniha together took up a challenge to play (apai'h- 




In its main outlines this arrangement was confirmed by another 
informant. However, he stated that the miko and his heniha were 
both of the Bear clan, that the young boys were in the north bed, 
that the various clans were mixed together in the south and west 
beds, that the women entered at the southwest corner instead of 
the soutlicast, and that there was a shelter over the fii'e. The first 
of these statements may be explained only by supposing that this 
man meant the yatika or miko apokta instead of the heniha or that 
the or'ganization was broken down. 


Fig. 33.- 

-The old Tukpafka Ceremonial Ground as it appeared in 1912 

Figure 84 gives what was probably the older organization of 
Osochi. There were also some representatives of the Beaver clan 
in this town but my informant did not know where they sat, and 
he was unable to tell which clans were reckoned as Hathagas and 
which as Tcilokis. 

The plan given in Figure 85 shows the arrangement of the square 
ground before it was moved from the Verdigris. The clans were 
scattered through the various beds, the latter not being divided 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

into sections, but my informant affirmed that the Wind and Deer 
"always went togetlicr," which would be in lino with the classi- 
fication of the Deer as a Ilathaga clan at Chiaha. 

We now come to the Seminole squares. 

Ochesee Seminole, a square which has now been given up, is shown 
in Figure 86. There was formerly a tcokofa, but my informant had 


Warriors' Bed 

medicine poHs 









■> r 

women enter here 

X nn'il<o(Bean 
la ^e^ Raccoon') 

X henihalWind, 

la^e^ Deer") 
X hl|p5 haya (any clanl 







J ■ 













Tami .and 
Yhe ^^l^el ■ 

ball ground 


Beaver; A 

Turkey m 




ed with 

;asfi heap 

Fig. 34.— Plan of the Square Ground of Asilanabi 

forgotten its location. Most of the warriors were in the north bed, 
and the hdis-haya sat Mith his own clan. The ashes were not 
removed from the center of the ground as was customary in the 
Creek squares. 

Figure 87 is Okfuskee Seminole. The ball ground was located 
wherever it was most convenient, and the women danced into the 
square from any corner. 

Figure 88 is a plan of the square made in 1912. 




The, next plan (fig. 89) is of Tallahasutci. On the death of the 
miko the miko apokta took his place and a new miko apokta was 
appointed from the clan of the former miko. 

Tlie data for the accompanying sketch of this square (fig. 90) was 
obtained in the winter of 1911-12. 

Figure 91 represents the square of Hitchiti Seminole, now aban- 
doned. My informants stated that Toad and Tcokote were two 
names for one and the same clan. They added that the name of 





rree wirn 


°ball Dos^ 

( Jmound oF t-adjo 

mgund oF hadjo 

ground drams oFf 
aF Fhis corner 

Fig. 35.— The Asilanabi Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

the last miko of this toA\'n was Nokobagi, and the name of his heniha 

Figure 92 is Eufaula Seminole. The clans are not kept separate in 
the different beds. There were a few people of the Bird clan and one 
man belonging to the Bear who sat wherever they chose. Tliere was 
also one of the Pahosa who sat with the Deer clan. There were no 
Beaver. It is said that the Wind clan is the only one which retains 
the taboo against endogamous mari-iages, but in the ball games each 
clan still hangs together. Tlie distinction between the Hathagas 
and Tcilokis is no longer remembered. 
82517°— 28 16 



[eTH. ANN. 42 

The accompanying sketch of the square ground (fig. 93) was made 
in 1912. 

Figures 94 and 95 give Liwahali Seminole. This square ground is 
said to be kept up merely for the medicine. The leaders were from 
Liwahali, but the bulk of the people are said to have been drawn 
from the Upper Creek towns of Fus-hatchee and Kan-hatki which 
migrated into Florida practically entu-e. 

J ' 

U l 


1 < 


1 n c 

women enherhere 
medicine pohs 

Oa pohoF medicine 
for ^he women 

hili5 haya (Wind 
in laher years) 
later Bird) 

ancienf posihon 
of pohs 

Fig. 36.— Plan of the Okchai Square Ground 

Accompanying is a sketch of the Liwahali groimd (fig. 96), the 
data for which was obtained in 1912. 

Plate 5, c, is a view of this groimd taken from the west side and 
looking northeast. 

Figure 97 shows Chiaha Seminole. Tlie officials given in the plan 
had served in their several capacities for a very long time. The 
present (1912) hilis-haya sits with the rest of his clan, the Potato, 
in the north bed. At the corners of the square logs were laid down 
for the accommodation of the women. 


Tlio Cliifls' Bud, iuukiug 

■ **^'^^S^'*"^-r 7f ''^'^ 

b. A vbw tlirou.crli tli»' Squnrc, lookuiy otjiili 

< . Camp sites near the Squari- 


\ ^ciinnuli' home 111 Oiilaliniii;; 

6. Cnnjiirins the medicine before a ball game 

f. liill jii.iyei- ( :kiiil: iih' im 'i.Liile 





Figure 98 is an outline of this sqiiare as it existed in 1912. 

Plate 2, a, gives a general view of the ground from the southwest; 
Plate 6, a, shows the West or Chiefs' bed from the southern end; 
Plate 6, 6, is a view taken tlirough the center of the square from the 
south; and Plate 6, c, shows the permanent parts of some of the 
surroimding camps. 

Figure 99 is based on information furnished by the miko of Mika- 
suki, who stated that before the white people and the Coweta 
Indians burned their square, 

back in the east, the clans e. 

occupied certain definite seats, 
but they do so no longer. 
Besides the chiefs mentioned in 
the plan there is a third be- 
longing to the Potato clan and 
presumably sitting with them. 

Figure 100 shows the same 
ground. The items entering 
into the sketch are from several 
different informants. 

The plan of the Mikasuki 
square groimd as I foimd it in 
1912 appears in Figure 101. 

From Swan's description of 
the Creek square akeady given 
we learn that that part of a 
bed occupied by a certain clan 
was marked with a painting of 
the clan animal." Adair states 
that the clans had symbols or 
signatures but he does not con- 
nect them with the square 
grounds.' He informs us, how- 
ever, that clan marks were 
associated with the burial 
scaffolds of the Choctaw,* and he describes at some length the 
paintings he had seen about several other squares, though without 
mentioning that any of these referred to clans. His account is as 
follows : 

"I have seen in several of the Indian synhedria, two white painted 
eagles carved out of poplar wood, with their wings stretched out, and 

Fig. 37.— Okchai Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

• See p. 182. 

' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 15. 

' Ibid., p. 184. 



raised iivc feet oil' tho grouiul, standing at the corner, close to their 
red and white imperial seats; and, on the inner side of each of the 
decp-notcliod pieces of wood, where the eagles stand, the Indians 
frequently paint, with a chalky clay, the figures of a man, with buffalo 
horns — and that of a panther, with the same colour; ... an estab- 
lished custom, both religious and martial, among them . . . obliges 
them to paint those sacred emblems anew, at the first fruit-offering 
or the annual expiation of sins. Everyone of their war-leaders must 
also make three successful wolfish campaigns, with their reputed holy 


medicine poVs 


miko apokta(Deer)< 
miko (Raccoon) 

Various clans mingled logeHier 

Fig. 38.— Plan of the Lalogalga Square Ground 

ark, before he is permitted to wear a pair of a young buffalo-buU's 
horns on his forehead, or to sing the triumphal war song, and to dance 
with the same animal's tail sticking up behind him, wliile he sings 
Yo Yo, etc. . . . 

" Near to the red and white imperial seats, they have the representa- 
tion of a full moon, and either a half moon, or a breast-plate, raised 
five or six feet high at the front of the broad seats, and painted with 
chalky clay; sometimes black paintings are intermixed."' 

» Adair, Hist. .\m. Inds., pp. 30-31. 




We will now summarize the seatings of each clan: 


Chiefs' bed 

Henihas' bed 

Warriors' bed 

Youths' bed 



















































Beaver -_- 




Deer . 






Aktavatci. .. .. 


Snake. . ... 







Pahosa.. . 


Kapitea . 

Wildcat-. . 











Woksi. . .... . 

Tcowasta . . 





Toad . 




Tcokote - .. - 

Reed (Cane) 


Lidjiimi . .. ._ 

The distribution of the smaller clans in the above table agrees very 
well with that of the larger ones with which they are linked. The 
principal discrepancies are due to the fact that when the chief was 
selected from a certain clan that clan moved over in a body into the 
Chief's bed, and therefore in some cases, in the Raccoon group for 
instance, the leading clan appears to have been seated in the Chief's 
bed many more times proportionately than most of the other clans 
of the phratry. 

Turning to the nine first clans, which are representative of the 
leading Creek phratries, we find that the White clans are found 
oftenest in the Chief's bed, and next in frequency in the bed of the 
Henihas, while comparatively seldom are they seated in the beds of 
the Warriors or Youths. It is to be observed that both the Chiefs' 
bed and that of the Henihas are frequently spoken of as "Wliite 
beds," but the former is occupied by Wliite clans more often than the 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

latter. This is partly due, no doubt, to the great reduction in num- 
bers wliich the towns have suffered and the practical abandonment of 
the Youths' bed, making it necessary to find seats for all of the clans 
in the three remaining beds. The Wamors' bed, too, does not appear 
to have been occupied anciently by clans as such, except perhaps the 
rear rows. In front were the tastanagalgi and imalalgi, who originally 
owed their positions to exploits in war and wore drawTi from various 
clans. In later times these dignities became to a certain extent heredi- 
tary, associated with certain clans, and the bed was occupied by clans 

in the same way as the other 
beds. It may be said, speak- 
ing generally, that the clan 
of the chief sat in the Chiefs' 
bed, and when a cliief was 
selected from a new clan that 
clan moved over into that 
bed. There are a few cases to 
the contrary but this is what 
usually took place. The 
natural position of a clan is 
therefore best determined 
by studying its position 
when the chief belonged to 
some other clan. Bearing 
this in mind an inspection 
of the arrangement of the 
square grounds shows plain- 
ly that the proper position 
of the Wliite clans is usually 
held to be in the beds of the 
Cliiefs and the Henihas. 
And it is worthy of remark 
that most of those towns in 
which these clans appear in the Warriors' bed were of the Hitchiti 
group, indicating that a somewhat different arrangement obtained 
there. The Beaver clan is usually identified with, and seated with, 
the Bird everpvhere excej^t in Otciapofa and the Tulsa towns where 
it was generally the clan of the chief. The Alligator and Aktayatci 
occur more often in the Henihas' bed than anywhere else. The 
former is sometimes White, which perhaps accounts in part for its 
presence here and in the Chiefs' bed; the Aktayatci, however, is 
always Tciloki and is so much associated with war that the clan is 
considered — probablj'- as a later development — identical with the 
tastanagalgi, in Likatcka and Lutcapoga. This accounts for some 

FiQ. 39. — Lalogalga Ceremonial Ground in 1912 




of the times when it appears in the Warriors' bed. It appears in the 
Cliiefs' bed several times because the chiefs of the Eufaula towns, 
HiHbi, Wiogufki, and perhaps Pakan talhihassee, were taken from it. 
The Alhgator also appears many times in the Chiefs' bed. It is 
to be noted that when the Aktayatci were chiefs the Alhgator were 
frequently henihas, and m consequence were sometimes taken into 
the Chiefs' bed. The iUligator were also henihas in Kasihta and 
were there taken into the Chiefs' bed for the same reason. In some 
other to^vns they were partly in the Chiefs' bed and partly in that of 


Tas'i'kavas or Holhahas' Bed 

Wiml, Skunk, 

medicine poVs 


women enher here 

hills haya (any clan) 
hen iha (Wind) J 
mil<o(Panl-her) C 

yahika (any dan) 

s 50 



ft a 

5" 3^ 


(any dan) 


ball ground 
Fig. 40.— Plan of the Wiwohka Square Ground (I) 

the Henihas. The Raccoon clan is the only Tciloki clan found more 
often in the Chiefs' bed than in any other. This position it occupies 
in Tukabahchee, Kealedji, the Okchai towns, Upper Eufaula, two 
Seminole towns, Koasati, two Abihka towns, and, according to two 
informants, in Chiaha and Osochi. Its position in the last two was 
probably due to the fact that it is identified with the Potato and 
Fox, to which the town chiefs there belonged. The others are all 
Upper Creek towns, constituting two geographical groups, the Abihka 
and the towns on Tallapoosa River. These Raccoon people are 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

found more often in the Warriors' bed than in that of the Henihas or 
Youths, and that is undoubtedly due to the fact that the clan is Red. 
In one or two cases it is said that the Raccoon clan were the tastana- 
gis. They were in the Warriors' bed particularly in the Abihka and 
Tulsa towns. The oiUy clans foimd of tener in the Warriors' bed than 
in any other are the Deer and Panther, rather singular companions 
one would think, but perhaps explacable on psychological grounds 
already given,'" although it is more Ukely that the association has a 


medicine pel's 

women enher here 

miko (Panfher) 















Raccoon, Deer, 

and various oHher dans minded 
hoteHier ( hhere were very few 
Wiwphka all l-old) 

ball ground 
Fig. 41.— Plan of the Wiwohka Square Ground (II) 

historic basis now long forgotten. As in other cases the Panther 
and Deer sometimes furnish chiefs or henihas and are consequently 
found in the Chiefs' bed. They occur in the Henihas' bed more 
often. In the Okfuskee towns they are squeezed into the Youths' 
bed, owing to the large size of the White clans. In the Abihka 
towns, where the Warriors' bed is to the east, the Deer are imiformly 
placed there, while the Panther appear in the Henihas' bed. In 
Pakan tallahassee the Deer are again in the Warriors' bed and are 
specifically called tastanagalgi, while the Panther is taken into the 

' See p. 149. 




Chiefs' bed. In the Okchai towns, Tukpafka, Tukabahchee, Atasi, 
Koasati, Kealedji, and Ilihbi these clans are found, however, either 
in the Cliiefs' bed or in the bed of the Henihas. Often they are 
separated and sometimes one is placed in the Youths' bed. The 
separation occurs more often, however, when the Deer is placed in 
the Chiefs' bed, the Panther being in the Henihas' bed. The Deer 
are said to have been taken into tins Chiefs' bed at Tukabahchee 


Imalas' Bed 

nm- S ThisDed was occupied 
^ §■ <^ principally by the Bear 
— m ^ clan bul- also by Ihe Folab, 
^"2. 5 Raccoon, and Akhayak 
3 ^^ in old hmes by hhe 
<^^ 2 Imalas 

women enfered here 


Here sal" some 
oF hhe Beaver . 
Alligahon and Bird 

mikoapokl'a or hen ha 

Oposihon or die(] 

miko jnedinepols '='«'=' 
IWindlOwhenHie med 



Q_ 3- 


3 3 

Women and children 
(when riiere was no fash 

Fig 42.— Plan of the Tuskegee Square Oround (I) 

because they formed "a choice clan." In Seminole towns the 
Panther and Deer are almost always placed in the bed of the Warriors. 
The important points regarding the nine leading clans brought 
out by this table are that the Wliite clans — Wind, Bear, Bird, and 
Beaver — were seated most often in the Cliiefs' bed and next to that 
most frequently in the bed of the Henihas; the Raccoon clan was 
seated oftenest in the Chiefs' bed and next to that in the Warriors 
bed; the AUigator and Aktayatci clans were seated most often in the 
Henihas' bed; and the Panther and Deer clans most often in the 
Warriors' bed. 



[eth. ANN. 42 

The Town 

Although tlie word talwa is employed rather loosely for both a 
town and a tribe, its proper signification seems to have been rather 
tribal, a town or city in our sense of the term, a center of population, 
being indicated by the word talofa. A talwa appears to have con- 
sisted of a body of people who had their own square ground and 


mafas Bed 



and some Panlner 

, _ women enl-erhcre 
one por o^ 
medicine Q 

hem hal?) (Bear) 
hi lis haya (Bear) 





















Fig. 43. — Plan of the Tuskegee Square Ground (II) 

actually formed a little state. In later times many such talwa were 
formed by segmentation and they were closely related, but the farther 
back we go the more distinct do the differences between the various 
talwa appear to be. These talwa might, of course, consist of a 
numbei- of distinct villages, but, except that they were usually com- 
posed of knots of clan relatives, no permanence and no particular 
coherence attached to these latter. 




According to the late Judge James R. Gregory, who belonged to 
the town of Okmulgee, each talwa, or at least each of the more impor- 
tant of them, anciently had a special emblem entirely distinct from 
the totems of the clans. He stated that the Coweta emblem was a 
wooden eagle marked like a spotted eagle and with blood dripping 
from its mouth. Wlienever an important coimcil was to be held it 
was brought out and set up in the ground in front of the miko's seat, 
The Tukabahchee emblem was an alligator, and the 

facing east 


Warriors'. Imatas or Hobhi-as Bed 


(•■hose oul- of all clans who 
had been hurt- in war) 

medicine pohs 

miko apokl-a 
miko (Raccoon) 

Tasikayas' Bed 

Fig. 44. — Plan of the Square Ground of Koasati No. 2 

four front posts of the miko's bed in the Tukabahchee square were 
carved in the shapes of alligators. Mr. Gregory showed the writer 
a stone pipe carved by an old Tukabahchee Indian, oh which was an 
alhgator in bold relief represented crawling around it toward the bowl. 
The Koasati emblem was the gar. The four front posts of the miko's 
bed in the Koasati square were carved to represent garfishes, and a 
large figure of a gar was carved out of wood and used in dances. At 
Atasi the snake was used and the four front posts of the Chiefs' bed 
were in the same way carved into the forms of snakes. 



(ETH. ANN. 42 

Tliis is both interesting nnd important, unci it is in line with what 
we know regarding the tribes living along both the lower and the 
upper courses of the Mississij)])! River. At the same time I have so 
far been unable to obtain confirmation of this from other Creeks. Of 
course, Bartram tells us that in his day the posts of the Chiefs' bed 
at Atasi were carved to resemble snakes, but this can not be accepted 
as confirmatory evidence because Judge Gregory was perfectly 
familiar with the writings of Bartram and other early authors. The 
Alabama and Koasati Indians of Texas claimed some particular right 

Warriors' Bed 

occufiifd by 
' 5 haya 





(usually from 

' and Wind) 

Big LiUle 
hnaJas Imalas 

(usually froiT (usually froiri 
Raccoon, Pc- Bear; Panther; 
l-al-o.and Wind) Alligahar.ecl:) 
1 X X xr r 

house tor 
medicine pot'? 

DSrg-^fil 5n 

o 5 


( hen i has) 

and , 




3 P; O O 

(J) O 0) 3- 


tiilis haya ( Raccoon") 

miko (Raccoon) 

SIX lesser mikos 

Talsi miko (Bird) S oj 


— ?-■ ?r 

women enl'er here 


hcoastai tako 

hobohi+i W 
bcunuk holahta 



OO. ^~^ 
'^ S" 

— -a> 

Alligator, Ttuni 
"Turkey, and 

other small clans 

X Potato 





and ofber 
small clans. 

su Igas 


X X 


Fig. 45.— Pliin of ttie Tukuh.ihcheo Square Ground (I) 

to the garfish, ])ut I have not secured sufficient evidence regarding 
this to be sure of the nature of their claim. On a previous ptige I 
have had occasion to note that the Indians of the Fish Pond towns 
place wooden fish at the topsof their ball posts, but according to their 
own explanation this mark is merely suggested to them by tlio toMTi 
name. The Eufaula Indians have a wooden eagle in the same place, 
but they say that this is because the eagle is emblematic of the I'nited 
States. The other towTis ail use slaills of horses or cows, which are 
said to be without significance of any kind. 




III line with the wooden eagle of Coweta mentioned by Judge 
Gregory is the wooden statue of a luiman being which Adair informs 
us existed in his day in " the head war town of the upper Muskohge 
coimtrj'." Tukabahchee is the head war to-wai of the I'^pper Creeks 
to-day, l)ut in Adair's time it may have been Liwahah or Atasi. 
Adair's words are as foHows: 

" There is a carved human statue of wood, to which, however, they 
]iay no rehgious homage. It belongs to the head war towni of the 
upper Muskoiige coimtry, and seems to have been originally designed 


Used h accommodahe over- 
How from other beds 


miko apokha 
[or hen iha) (Wind) 
miko( Raccoon) 

0/ ?> 

o n 


c^ ^ 


C Q) 

Oi 3 



























V ■ . ■■ 
I6^l afcag 
mixed win 

igi 5ulga 









Fig. 46.— PUiU of the Tukabahcheo Square Ground (II) 

to perpetuate the memory of some distinguished hero, M^ho deserved 
well of his country: for, when their ciisseena, or bitter, black drink 
is about to be drank in the sjTihedrion, they frequently, on common 
occasions, will bring it there, and honour it with the first conch-shell- 
full, by the hand of the chief religious attendant: and then they 
return it to its former place. It is observable, that the same beloved 
waiter, or holy attendant, and his coadjutant, equally observe the 
same ceremony to every person of reputed merit, in that quadrangular 
place. T\lien I past that way, circumstances did not allow me to 



view this singular figure; but I am assured by several of the traders 
who have frequently seen it, that the carving is modest, and very 
neatly finished, not unworthy of a modern civilized artist." " 

According to some informants the people of each talwa formerly 
had distinctive face paintings, and there were men in every town par- 
ticularly skilled in applying these. The design for Tuskegee was as 
shown in the cut (fig. 102). 

Q mound where buFPalo 
dance was held 

Warriors Bed 


Raccoon , Aktayatc 
Potato and Fox 




miko apkha(Beaver) 
miko (Raccoon) 



women enter here — ° 


Raccoon, fox, 
Aktayatci,and Potato 

)ashes oF 
- old fire 

Warriors' Bed 

Fig. 47.— Plan of the Tukabahchee Square Ground (III) 

A word may be quoted from Stiggins regarding the feeling of unity 
which subsisted within each town. 

"The towns people were frequently assembled at their town house 
or square in order to keep them united, for the harmony subsisting 
among the people of a town is noted and seems to be cemented by an 
affection as strong towards each other as the sons of Jacob of old in 
their association. As the usages and customs of every to-\vn are 
similar and the men all know the unity and sympathy of a to\vn 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 22-23. 




people, the men of one town will approach another town with seem- 
ing diffidence, though the towns may be contiguously situated, and 
as such is their practice in this their more enlightened time, their 
approaches toward each other's towns and towards strangers must 
have been with extreme timidity and caution in their natural and 
more savage state. " " 

Fig. 48.— Tukabahchee Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

In my liistorical account of the Creek Indians and their neighbors 
I have taken up in detail the various tribes which constituted the 
confederacy and the position occupied by each. ■^'' It wLU not be 
necessary to go over this ground again, except to insert a classification 
of the talwa which of itself will serve to recapitulate the points there 
brought out. 

" Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 19. 

"• Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn. 



[eth. ANN. 42 


Muskogee tribes: Kasihta, Coweta, Coosa (including (a) the Tulsa 
group and (b) the Okfuskee group), Abihka, Hohwaliali (or Liwahali), 
Hilil)i, Eufaula, Wakokai. several Muskogee tril)es whose coniieetion 
with the rest is uncertain, including Atasi, Kolomi, Kan-hatki, Fus- 

hatchee, Wiwohka, Keal- 
edji, and tribes such as 
the Pakana, Okchai, and 
Tukabahchee, which 
seem not to have been 
constituted parts of the 
original body. 

Atcik hata (Hitchiti 
spealving tribes) ; Hitchiti, 
Okmulgee, Oconee, Apa- 
lachicola, Sawokli, 
Tamaii, Chiaha. 

Tribes of uncertain con- 
nection: Osochi. 

To these might almost 
be added the Cliickasaw, 
since one band of Chicka- 
saw lived with the Creeks 
for several years and they 
were all held to be of one 
fii'e ^\-ith the Kasihta. 
According to the tracU- 
tions given above the 
Kasihta and Coweta re- 
sulted from the segmen- 
tation of one original 
body, and it is probable 
that these and the next five tovois in the above list were the original 
Muskogee speaking peoples in the confederacy. It seems likely that 
the Pakana, Okchai, and Tidvabalichee were Muskogee in language 
but were kte in imiting with the others. The Koasati were closely 
related by language with the Alabama, as was probably the case 

Fig. 49, 

-The old Tukabahc-bee Ceremonial Ground near 
Melette, Okla,, as it appeared in 1912-:4 




witli the Tiiskegee and Ahiklasa. There are reasons for thinking 
that the Osochi may originally have spoken Timucua.'-^ 

Socially, as has already been indicated, these towns were divideil 
into two classes wliich may conveniently be called Wliite and Red, 
respectively, as one set was devoted to the maintenance of peace, 


ChieFs' Bed 

Beaver, Bird, and Deer 

(t+iere were few persons in fhis 


hhe medicine was 
placed over a 
nre here 


















































Henihas and You^hs, 
including mosh oF |-he 
Wind dan 

YouHts' Bed 

Fig. 50.— Plan of the Masi Squ;ivo Ground (I) 

the other to the i^rosecution of war. There appears, moreover, to 
have been some sort of association between White clans and White 
towns and Red clans and Red towns, the cliiefs of the towns of each 
set being chosen from the corresponding clans. '^^ At the present 
day, however, the Creeks themselves do not use these names. In 
fact there are few who can give any well-defined term for the two 
classes, except to call them "lires" or to call the towns opposed to 

" See Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 26. 
72517°— 28 17 

»• See pp. 196-197. 



|ETH. ANN. 42 

one's own set inkipaya, "opponents." "People of one fire" was 
use<l in a very general manner by the southern Indians to indicate 
an aUiance. Adair, for instance, states that he apj^ealcd to the Choc- 
taw to be "people of one fire" wth the English," and early docu- 
ments inform us that the Okfuskee towns several times claimed that 
they and the white settlers of Carolina belonged to the same fire 
clan — i. e., to the division including the White towns. It is probable 


Chiefs Bed 









and a few 



women ent^ered here 

The fcokofa was 
a half mile away 
in hhis direcfion 

Tfiey hhrew up 
rtie emeHc here 














1 J 















also par 


hhe Pofa 

\o clan 

and t^he 



in Ifie fown 

Warriors' Bed 
The Akhayaki saf anywhere 
Fig. 51. — Plan of the Atasi Square Ground (II) 

that this was partly on account of the complexion of the newcomers 
and partly from the fact that the White or Peace side was that which 
usually took in foreign communities. 

Jackson Lewis used the name Talwa mikagi for the White towns 
and Ispokogi for the Red towns. The former means "chief or prin- 
cipal towns;" the latter is the esoteric title of Tukabahchee, the 
most prominent Red town among the Upper Creeks. The first of 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 329. 




these names is said to have been apphed originally to the Bird clan 
of Otciapofa because a chief of that to-wn and clan inducted the head 
chief of the confederacy into office. It was extended from the clan 
to the town of Otciapofa and tlience to the group of to^ms to wliich 
Otciapofa belonged. The importance of Otciapofa comes out, also, 
in the fact that it is lvno^^'n as the "mother" of the Tulsa and Okfus- 



Warriors' Bed 


. . and 

(including Fbhabl 

hi lis haya(feccoon) 
miko( Raccoon') •= 

ash heap /'' y 

Youhhs who 
have charge 
of the medicine 

Bear , Bird . 




Qwomen and child 
women enfer T'^" ^°^^ medicine 
here '^«'"« /' ) 
ash heap '<,..-•' 

ball ground 
Fig. 52.- 

-Plan of the Kealedji Square Ground (I) 

kee towns, and that it was the capital of McGillivray and later the 
headquarters of Chitto Hadjo or "Crazy Snake," the reactionary 

Apart from the ball games which these towns periodically entered 
into against each other and their antithetical peace and war func- 
tions, the attitude which each division maintained toward the other 
was anciently one of avoidance, if not aversion. According to the 
late G. W. Grayson there was formerly little intermarriage between 
them, on account of the mutual jealousy which existed, though there 



[Eril. ANN. 42 

was no dii-oct prohiliition of such marriages. Towns did not invite 
those of the opposite fire to the busk ceremony, althougli usually 
calling in some of the same fire. In later times, however, such 
invitations, as well as intermarriages, have been more frequent. 
Indeed, another informant told me that a man living in a certain 
town might be classed as a "friend" by his neighbors, although his 
own proper town was on the opposite side. 



ors' Bed or Imatas'Bed 



Lidjamijand Cane 







hen ilia 






r ^ 







' r 






Al ligator, Tami , 
Turkey, Potabo,and Woksi 

Tasikaya fakalgi Bed 
Fig. 63.— Plan of the Kealedji Square Ground (II) 

Their respective attitudes with reference to peace and war were 
known to the wliites from an early date. Hawkins,'^ Swan,'* Bar- 
tram,^' and Adair ^* all mention the fact. Bartram states that 
human blood had never been shed in the town of Apalachicola until 
an outbreak occm-red against the Enghsh traders when several who 
had sought refuge there were put to death, and he adds that this 

'1 Hiiwkins in Ga. Hist. Soc Colls., vol. in, pp. 51-52. 
IS Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 279. 
" Bartram, Travels, p. 387. 
1! Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 159. 




event was believed to have brought misfortune on the community 
and to have resulted in breaking it up.'*" Adair says that "in almost 
every Indian nation, there are several pexiceable towns, wliich are 
called 'old-beloved,' 'ancient, holy, or white towns;' they seem to 
have been formerly 'towms of refuge,' for it is not in the memory of 
their oldest people, that ever human blood was shed in them; al- 
though they often force persons from thence, and put them to death 
elsewhere." "White," he says in a footnote, "is their fixed em- 

^Y^^^P'^ From which 
.A 1 i.-'ea^^h was taken 
ir hoF house 

Fig. 54.— Site of the old Kealedji Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

blem of peace, friendship, happiness, prosperity, purity, holiness, 
&c.," and just above he tells us that Coosa, then "reduced to a small 
ruinous village," was "stiU a place of safety for those who kill 
imdesignedly." " 

Few of my own informants knew anything about these matters, 
but one of them reported that if a criminal escaped to a White town 
the pursuers must stop and wait until the affair could be adjusted. 
He added that if an enemy reached a ^\^lite town he was safe, though 
not infrequently he was forced out of it and killed beyond its precincts. 

IS" Bartram, Travels, pp. 387-389. 

" .\dair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 159. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

The Red towns were said to carry red beads, the Wliite towns white 
beads. In modern times their functions were well-nigh reduced to 
determininij what towns were to play with and against each other in 
the ball games. 


ball ground 



•!:.• Bed 




?aver and I 


^'""~~ x S 







miko(Bear) T^ 
niko apokha (Bird) 



Panthei- ' 






Bear, Panther, 
AV^ildcat,and Raccoon 

Fig. 65.— Plan ot the Laplako Square Qround (I) 

Following is a list of towns as classified to-day in accordance with 
the best information available: 










Tulsa Little River. 


Tulsa Canadian. 














Pakan tallahassee. 




Koasati (1 and 2). 









Eufaula Hobayi. 



Hatchee tcaba. 




ball ground 




Tallahasutci orSakapadai. 



Warriors' Bed 


. ' 


poh of cold 
medicine O 

rhiljs haya(Raccoon) 
miko (Raccoon) 

miko apokha 

Qpoh of warm 








Fio. 56. 

rfenl"hers' Baa 

-Plan of the Luplako Square Ground (II) 

This classification was in the main agreed to by everybody, but 
there were differences of opinion on minor points. One informant 
thought that Wiwohka used to play on either side indifferently, but 
others explained that this was only an appearance due to the number 
of persons who had married into the towai from outside. Some said 
that Tallahasutci or Sakapadai belonged on the White side. Two 
informants thought that Koasati was a Red town, a conclusion which 

» The relative position of Chiaha and Yuchi is confirmed by David Taitt who mentions a ball game 
May 3, 1722, in which the former defeated the latter (Mereness, Trav. in Am. Col., p 552). 


may have boon deduced from the fact that in recent years tlie rehxted 
Ahabama town was on the Eed side. From the evidence which I 
collected, however, it would seem that it is Alabama which has 
changed, and that only in late times owing to some difference with 
the Okchai Indians with whom the Alabama people had formerly been 
allied. Jackson Lewis in fact placed Alabama on the White side, 
but on the other hand he thought that Wiogufki and Tukpafka were 
Red.-' Such a classification of these last two towns was concurred in 

by some other informants, and Eufaula 
hadjo told me that Wiogufki had formerly 
been Red and had become a White town 
pole on two forked posts "^ery recently. As Tukpafka was a branch, 
on >vh,ch ball 5Hcl<. are hung ^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^ coordinate part, of Wio- 
gufki, it was probably classed with it. 
This shift was perhaps responsible for the 
r confusion regarding Wiogufki in the mind 

fir IPS c c C7 

c=4= of one old man who said that he believed 

jjj Wiogufki played on both sides. Eufaula 
III/ hadjo's statement was, however, con- 
firmed by Big Jack of Hilibi who affirmed 
that at one time Wiogufki, Tukpafka, 
Wakokai, Sakapadai, Talmutcasi, and 
Pakan tallahassee were of the same fire 
Fig. 57 .—The tapiako "rallying clan as Coweta and Laplako but had got- 
ground" used before bau games. ^^^ changed. I am inclined to doubt the 

as It appeared in 1912 ^ 

correctness of this in so far as it applies 
to the last two towns. Possibly the social and political upheavals 
which accompanied the Civil War may have been responsible for 
some of the confusion. One of my best informants among the Okchai 
Indians thought that Wiogufki was really a White towTi, but that it 
probably had some agreement with Hilibi and Eufaula that, as good 
friends and neighbors, they would never play against each other. 
While Eufaula hadjo and Big Jack are probably right tliis is inter- 
esting as showing that agreements of the sort were not unknown, or 
at least not inconceivable. I am inclined to think that Talmutcasi 
was originally White, because it seems to have been a branch of 
the well-known White town of Okfuskee. An old Coweta Indian 
stated that some of the Abilika Indians were claimed by Coweta and 
some by Kasihta, but this confusion, as in the case of Wiwohka, 
was very likely due to marriages outside. The standing of Abihka 
on the White side was not questioned by anyone else. 

" The original position of Alabama as a White town is also indicated by what Bossu says regarding it: 
*' The Alibamons have called their country the white ground, or country of peace, and rest on their mats, 
that is to say attack no one. A kind of allegory through which they seem to announce to all the nations of 
the earth, that the bloody hatchet is buried, and people can come and trade in all safety."— Bossu, Nouvj 
Voy., vol. u, p. 47. 




According to Silas JeflFei-son the Cliiaha were the chief opponents 
of the Tuskegee after they had removed to Oklahoma, but the latter 
played frequently with the Wiwohka, and sometimes with the 
Hilibi. and, in the old country, against the Alabama. The Hitchiti 
an<l Apahichicola were usually matched against the Atasi. 


Members of various clans 
mingled hogehherand visihors 
oF all kinds. 



















miko apokha 

E ^ 

Warriors Bed 
Fig. 58. — Plan of the Liwahali Square Ground 

The corresponding division among the Seminole in Oklahoma is 
said to have been as follows: 



Okfu.skee . . - 



Liwahali (inehiding the Fus-hatchee and Kan-hatki). 

Ochesee __ 


Hitchiti --. ... - 


This agrees perfectly with the alignment among the Creeks if, as 
I now suspect, the Mikasuki were a branch of the Cliiaha Indians 
instead of the Hitchiti proper. 



[ETU. ANN. 42 

At the oiul of the eighteenth century Benjamin Hawkins, first 
agent of the American Government to the Southern Indians, under- 
took to knit the Creeks into a fu-mer and more responsible organi- 
zation. To carry out this plan the towns were placed in nine classes, 
and one or two individuals were selected to represent each. The 
nine classes are given as follows : 

1. Okchai, Wiwohka, Pakan tallahassee, Opillako, and Lalogalga. 

2. Kealedji and Eufaula. 

ball ground 

Youhhs' Bed 

ancienj- posihon 
oF kokora in fhis 

hilis haya (any clan) 
heniha(Alli^ahDr, J 
TamijTurkey) | 


medicine pofs 

J 1 

, J 



(including PohaW 

^ t 

1 r 

, Rear , 

( fan ["herabosah here 
and Beaver could sit 
here iFrfierewerean' 


(any oFl-he 
Wind clan could 
si F here) 

ash heap,^/-''-^ 

ball grouna, / 
used ingameSxr'' 

Fig. 59.— Plan of tlie Uilihi Square Ground 

3. Hilibi, Wakokai, and Potcas hatchee. 

4. Abilikutci, Natchez, Coosa, and Eufaula hatchee. 

5. Holiwahali, Kan-liatki, Sawanogi, Muklasa, and Tukabahchee. 

6. Okfuskee and its branches Sukaispoga, Nuyaka, Imukfa, 
Tukabahchee Tallahassee, Tohtogagi, Achinaulga, Okfuskutci, and 

7. Otciapofa and Tuskegee. 

8. Tulsa, Atasi, Fus-hatchee, and Kolomi. 




9. Okchaiyutci, Koasati, Kan-tcati, Tawasa, Pawokti, and Atauga. 

Hawkins states that the first five classes consisted of Ked tcmis, 
and 6 and 8 of White towTis. The words with which he introduces 
classes 6 to 9 would lead one to expect that 7 and 9 were Wliite towns 
also and in fact such was the case if we assume the supposed recent 
change in Alabama. On the other hand, class 8, which is said 
specifically to have consisted of Wliite towns, contains one, Atasi, 
now reckoned as Red, and two, Fus-hatchee and Kolomi, of doubtful 
affiliations but which there are reasons for supposing to have been 
Red also. At least we should not expect to find them opposed to 
Kan-hatki, as here given. The classification of some of the Red 
towns also presents difficulties. The two towns in group 2 are still 
classed as Red towns, and 
none of those in group 5 
is known to have been 
White, although this 
might have been sus- 
pected of Kan-hatki and c= 
also of Muklasa, suppos- 


bair post 

plank for boys 

pash pile 

Fig. 60.— Hilibi Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

ing that Muklasa was an 
Alabama settlement. On 
theotherhand, all of those 
towns in class 1 regarding 
which we have a record 
are now Wliite, as are 
Wakokai and Potcas 
hatchee in class 3 and 
Abihkutci in class 4, while 
Adair so describes Coosa. 
We should suppose 
Natchez to have been of 
one "fire" with the inti- 
mate friends of its people, the Abihka, but have no means of knowing 
the status of Eufaula hatchee, nor of Opiliako in class 1. Pakan 
tallahassee and the Okchai towns have been White within the 
meniorj- of all living Creek Indians, yet Adair introduces a puzzle 
by speaking in one place of "the Okchai war town."^^ In brief, it 
does not seem as though much reliance can be placed on Hawkins's 

Evolution of the Creek Confederacy 

Any discussion of the probable origin and evolution of the Creek 
confetleracy must carefully distinguish between the native concep- 
tion regarding its origin and evolution and the tlung itself; between 
the psychological construction and the actual facts. 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 262. 



[ETII. ANN. 42 

Out- kiio\vU'(lc:<^ I'f t'"' fornior is liniitotl, however, I)}' the frag- 
ment ary fomlition of the origin legends, and our ahihty to interpret 
the hitter is also seriously hampered by the disappearance of much 
of the ihita necessary to a proper understanding of them. In the best 
presei-ved migration legends, which are from tlie Lower Creeks and 
indeed from the single town of Kasihta, we find that the names 



Chiefs' Bed 

medicine Q 

The WhiFe clans 
lincluding Wind . 
Bear, Woir~ 
Beaver , Bird , 
h^nhher ; 5kunl< 

women enher here 



ishi alcag^ 

a poh of medicine 
broufihl" here for 
l"he women [o use 


C £U 


K- o 

S I 


-< ' 


o ^ 

3 ^ 


0^ - 









[when fhere was 1 

no fasHnii) 





(including mem- 
bers of surplus 
Jans infermrria 
in rhe town eel".; 
one called hadjo 
always sihs 

Warriors' Bed 


Fig. 61.— I'hm of tlie Eufaula Square Ground (I) 

of the Coweta, Kasihta, and Chickasaw are constantly associated. 
The Chickasaw certainly hatl a ilistinct origin, and are evidently 
introduced liecause they were friends of the Kasihta and were con- 
sidered to belong to the same fire clan as that tril)e; that is, '' Chick- 
asaw" was reckoned as a "White town." It is also worthy of note 
that in the very earliest version the Coweta are not mentioned until 
after the immigrants had reached Georgia, where it is inij)hod that 




the Kasihta separated into two parts, the Kasihta and Coweta. It 
is also to ho noted that the Ahihka are sometimes added, though in 
the Hawkins vereion the Ahihka are said to liave been encountered 
on Coosa River. The Alabama are mentioned once, and then perhaps 
nierch- to make out the formula number four. It seems evident from 
these stories that the Kasihta and Coweta were always considered 



cine house 










a 3- 

0) <-^ 

covered fire 

medicine for women 
and children 







Deer and Pohsfo.were also 
in l-Fiis bed 

Warriors Bed 

Fig. 62.— Plan of the Eufaula .Square Grounil (II) 

closely related. Tlieir connection with the Ahihka is more remote, 
but it is interesting to find it recognized as closer than their connec- 
tion \vith the Coosa. The Coosa appear only in the ChekilH nan-ative 
as a people encountered by the Kasihta and their allies on their 
journey eastward. In confirmation of this we find that in the Tulsa 
narrative, and in that of Milfort, the two which probably represent 
the Coosa story, the Kasihta aial Coweta are not mentioned; indeed 



[HTU. ANN. 42 

no tribe is except the Coosa and its later divisions. If wo consider 
the traditions by themselves, then, we seem to find that one body of 
Muskogee came from the west and subsequently divided into two 
parts which came to be known as Kasihta and Coweta, and that they 
were early associated with another tribe, probably also Muskhogean, 
the Abihka. The Coosa, on the other hand, came from the west 
independently, and had no subdivisions until much later. The 
explanation of the two divisions of towns or "fires" is given in Judge 

Gregory's story, and there is reason to 
believe that they did actually originate 
with the division of the easternmost 
band of Creeks into Kasihta and Coweta, 
although the sjjecific account of it is, of 
course, entirely mythic. This now seems 
plausible because, in the first place, these 
two towns are the only pair seemingly 
sprung from one stem, which are con- 
spicuously set over against each other as 
leaders of the opposing sides, there being 
no such pairing of the Upper Creek 
loading towns. Moreover, Bartr?. m 
records a traditional behef that the 
Creek confederacy had originated at the 
old town of Okmulgee on the river of that 
name — i. e., among the Lower Creeks. 
The later Okmulgee town was a Hitchiti 
settlement, but Muskogee lived along 
Ocmulgoe River at an early date. In 
De Soto's time the people of Cofitachequi, 
which we have identified as Kasihta, 
knew Coosa well, and it is not improbable that the basis of the con- 
federacy had already been laid. It is hkely that it was in existence 
before the Tukabahchee united with the other towns, in spite of the 
later prominence of the former and in spite of the fact that some 
Creeks will tell you that the busk fire originated with the Tuka- 
bahchee and was by them distributed to the rest. 

Woodward says it was a matter of dispute among the Creeks 
whether Kasihta or Tukabahchee was settled first, but it was gen- 
erally conceded that Kasihta was first settled.^' Unfortunately we 
have no record, mythic or otherwise, as to how the friendslup between 
Kasihta, Abihka, and Coosa grew up other than the references in 
the stories already given, and these do not explain why the friend- 
ship was between Abihka, Coosa, and Kasihta, rather than Abihka, 

Fig. 63.— Eutaula Ceremonial Ground 
in :912 

" Woodward, Reminiscences, p. 32. 



Coosa, and Coweta. The oldest Upper Creek town on the Red side 
was probaby Liwahali, but we do not know what its ancient rela- 
tions were with Kasihta and Coweta. As between Coweta and 
Tukaliahchee, we have some inkling of the mythic foundation for 
tlie friendship existing between them, in myths already given, and 
it is noteworthy that, if we take the testimony of a Tulsa Indian — 
which should have been comj^aratively unbiased — as well as that 
which may be derived from historical sources, Coweta was then the 
more important. The myths also tell us something of the relations 
between Liwahah, Atasi, and Tukabahchee, but it is probable that 

seahs wihhouhan 
arbor for wotnen, 
visitors.and overflow 
from souffi bed. 




hobaifleaderof bed) 

Principally occupied by 
i/lsihors. A few warriors 
may accompany them if 
fbey prefer 

Fig. 64.— Plan of tbe Alabama Square Ground (I) 

the first was already a friend of Coweta, Liwahali having been long 
settled in the Upper Creek coimtry.-^ From the scraps of mforma- 
tion we can gather it would appear that Hihbi and Eufaula had once 
been situated farther east, and they may have been Red towns from 
early times. Altogether, it appears that the Red towns were fewer 
and mutually more independent than the White towns. With the 
exception of Coweta and its branch Likatcha, the two Eufaulas, 
Upper and Lower, and probably Tukabahchee, Atasi, Kealedji, and 
Hatchee tcaba, the Red towns do not fall into well marked family 

« Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 254-258. 




O medicine poVs 


hilis haya (Bear) 






(usually wind) 

> Wind, 











(also some 


VI SI Tors') 


Fig. 65.— Plan of the Alabama Square Ground (II) 

splif logs for 

medicine pot^ 



also Salf. X 



hilishaya =||=7, ^,„ , .""'^l. 

(lasl-aBeanhhey U (|a5mndiClan noh 
somehmes saf in '"'■'O apowa 

eash bed) 


" Wind. 




i splif logs 
for visifors.eck 

Fig. 66.— Plan of the .Vlabama Square Ground (III) 




^^ee used g 
For one side of^oal 

O probable posihon of ball 
mound. exacH spot" uncerhain 

Fig. 67.— The Alabama Ceremonial Ground in 1912 
The Warriors' Gbin 


in rank 





Town chieFs,diieFs 
oF ot'her hjwns whet 
visihng,a|e,nh for 
Indian afrairs.and 
respectable white peo- 

fpeople second 
in command) 

Families of ^he mikq 
mikalgi and councillors 

Cabin oF hhe Beloved MentisN ahca^agalgO 
Fig. 68.— Plan of the Kaslhta Square Ground (from Hawkins) 
82517°— 28 IS 



[ETU. ANN. 42 

groups. ^Viid with the exception of Tukabahchee and its associates, 
which, although later comers, were probably Muskogee in speech, 
there were few towois on tliis side of alien blood. The only certain 
e.xceptions, in fact, were Chialia and Osochi. The former, in some 
way or other, had early entered upon terms of the greatest intimacy 

JVhrf/wr/i shed: 

hyth^ four 











<■■> H \ 


z\ ^ 

■T "^ 

V ^' 

* fv.,- >i 

■*^ ? 

^ ? 

^ 5 


? ^ 

,^' t 

« «>•. 

■ •:- <5. 

% ^ 

■s 5. 



1 ^ -^ 


Soztfhern shed. 

f^' (Udshu) 






Fig. 69. — Plan of the Kasihta Square Ground (from Qatschet) 

with Coweta, and it is probable that the Osochi had come into the 
same relation by first entering upon terms of friendship with the 
Chiaha. This substantiates a statement of one of my informants 
that "most of the foreign towTis were taken in upon the White side" 
because it was the side which made a business of peacemaking. In 
late years the Alabama have joined the Red towns, but this, as we 
have seen,^^ was probably due to a difference with the Okchai with 

M See p. 256. 




whom they had temporarily imited. Witla Kasihta there came to be 
associated all of the Hitcliiti-speaking towns — except Chiaha and 
Osochi — the Yuchi, and even the Chickasaw, while among the Upper 
Creeks, the Okchai, Tuskegee, Koasati, and — originally— the Ala- 
bama were Wliite. To these the Pakan tallahassee should ])erha]is 
be added. The number of White towns was also augmented by the 
splitting up of Coosa into Okfuskee and its branches, Otciapofa and 


^as^anagi tako 



Part- of Pol-ab, 
Tami, Fox, Ak- 
hayaf-ci, and 

X X 


hatisi fasl-anagi 

miko apokVa 


K hilis haya 

fieniha tako 

isfan'i ^as^-anag; (Fox) ^o medicine 
fessistanl- ho hafsi las^ana^i) pohs 


Part- of Pol-al-o, 
Tami, Fox.Aktay- 
at-ci, and Rac- 

The Deer were 
^iven seat's here 

dancing was started 

in t-his part- oF the (name of bed fbrgol-|-en) 

ball ground. 

Fig. 70.— Plan of the Kasilita Square Ground (III) 

the Tulsa to-wns, whde it is probable that the Wakokai towns came 
from these or from the Abihka. 

Along with the introduction of foreign elements we should look 
for greater clan complexity, and this, as has already been indicated, 
we seem to find. Of course, the appearance and disappearance of 
clans need have nothing to do with outside elements, but where we 
observe an association between certain clans and such elements the 
suggestion that the association is more than accidental natui-ally 
arises. In any event such associations are worth noting for their 



[ETH. ANN. i2 

possible bearing on future investigations. Thus the Mole, Toad, 
Tcokote, and Snake clans are found associated most closely with the 
Hitchiti-speaking communities, and with the Seminole settlements, 
wliich are loiown to have contained a consi(loral)le Hitchiti element. 
The Kapitca and Pahosa, which are especially prominent among 
the Seminole, may have had a similar origin. The Salt and Daddy- 
longlegs clans are similarly associated with the Alabama, the Eagle, 
Woksi, and Lidjami with the Tukabahchee and related towns and 


Warriors' Bed or Red Bed 

Fox, Aktayabd, Emthcai 

Wildcatand Tami 

a red Flagwasplac U « 
ed on hhis corner /'gs: 35- 
posh in lat-e hmes Sg-. Ss' 

3d 2.-r 

-t- CO- 
O 00-. 


miko heniha 

. kiskaleidii miko(Bear) 
lie ■ ■* ■ 

niko hoyanidia 



called our men to receive Fobacco 

and new names) halwa heniha takp 

awhihe Flag was -H.^ (adviser ho chieft\ X/ind) 

placed on ms cor r » «1 rahosa 

ner posf in iahe 


open place where 
\he dance be^n 

Raccoon, Pobato, Bird, 
Wind , Mole, and Fish 

Hem has' Bed or Whihe Bed 
Fig. 71. — Plan of the Kasihta Square Ground (IV) 

the Raccoon with the Tukabahchee and Okchai, as also the Abihka. 
The Turkey and Wildcat are the most conspicuous clans among the 
Koasati at the present time, though the latter at least was widely 
distributed. Turning to the purer Muskogee divisions we find that 
the Aktayatci is most conspicuous among the Hilibi, the Eufaula, and 
in the Wiogufki groups of towns and that the Beaver clan attains spe- 
cial prominence in the Tulsa towns, although it is also a pronomiced 




factor among the Alabama ami Koasati of Texas and Louisiana. 
The Skunk is conspicuous among towns of the Okfuskee connection, 
while the .'Uhgator, Fish, and Potato people seem more in evidence 
among the Lower Creeks than elsewhere. Although very widely 
distributed, the Wind and Bear seem most prominent and influential 
in towns supposed to be pure Muskogee. 


Warriors' Bed 

Rmther WiUcat.and Deer 

aJeading man 
or TO Bear clan 

medicine pohs-^ 
miko(Bear') Q 

a leading man of 
We Bear clan- 

Bird, Beaver, Potato, 
Raccoon, Fox, Alligator, 
Tairti, pnd Aktayatci 



women enher- 
here when 
I'hey dance. 

Fig. 72. — Plan of the Okmulgee Square Ground 

It will also be of interest to compare the clan divisions fountl 
within the Creek confederacy with those among surrounding tribes 
belonging to the same totemic area. These include the Timucua of 
northern Florida, the Chickasaw, and the Cherokee, to which perhaps 
may be added the Natchez hving among the Cherokee and the Yuchi. 
There were also exogamous divisions among some of the eastern 
Siouan tribes ami we must allow for the^possibility that there existefl 
a connection between the totemic system of the Chickasaw and those 
of the Caddo and Chitimacha. Upon the whole, however, it would 



[eTH. ANN. 42 

seem most probable that the Caddo and Cliitimacha areas were 
indcpetident of the Chickasaw. 

On comparing the clans found among the first tribes which we 
have mentioned we find at once that the clan names most widely 
extended were those of tlie Deer and Bird which appear among all 
these peoples. The reader should be warned at the beginning, how- 
ever, that some of the other Cherokee clan names may originally 
have referred metaphorically to animals and that some of the as yet 
untranslated Timucua clan names may be of totemic significance. 

Warriors' Bed 

j 1 

1 1 

> t. 







pari- of Pofato 



4 Imatas 

-, i\ < 


medicine maker 
miko (Wind) 

aHloga (cold) 
medicine pote 



Oa pohof wilana (Jerusalem oak) 


All l-he women sal" here when 
hhere was no fasK 



o n 


ball post" in hhis 

Fig. 73.— Plan of the Apalachicola Square Ground (Talwa tako) (I) 

A Panther clan is found among the Timucua, Natchez, Chickasaw, 
Yuclii, and Creeks, a Bear clan among all of these except the Chicka- 
saw, a Fish clan among all except the Natchez, and a Raccoon clan 
among all but the Tixnucua. A Wolf clan existed among the Chero- 
kee, Yuchi, and Creeks, as also among the Chickasaw if we may 
trust Morgan; in Florida it may have been represented by the Dog 
clan. The Wildcat is mentioned specifically only among the Chick- 
asaw, Yuchi, and Creeks, but wherever there was a Panther clan a 
Wildcat clan is apt to make its appearance sooner or later associated 



with it. There was a Fox chin among the Yuclii and Creeks, a 
Wliite Fox clan in Florida, and a Fox or Red Fox clan among the 
Cliickasaw; a Skunk clan among the Chickasaw, Yuchi, and Creeks; 
and Wind and Beaver clans among the Natchez, Yuchi, and Creeks. 
Morgan reports a Cliickasaw Alligator clan, and one of my own infor- 
mants gave the Alligator as a Yuclii clan, but Speck makes no men- 
tion of it. It was, of course, well known to the Q-eeks. A Snake 
clan makes its appearance among the Natchez, the Creeks, and 
probably the Yuchi. Spanish clans (Isf ani) played a rather important 




Bear, Wolf. Wind,Buxi 



fashanagi tako 

Deer . 


Mole . 
Beaver . x 
Alligator, " 

rantner . 


The medicine 
was prepared 

Fig. 74. — Plan of the Apahichicola Square Ground (Talwa lake) (H) 

part in the Creek and Chickasaw nations, but the Buzzard clan, 
wliich seems to have attained great prominence in Florida, is entirely 
wanting among the people north of it except possibly the Yuchi. 
The only subdivision corresponding to the Earth clan of the Timucua 
was an obscure Creek division mentioned only by one authority and 
called the Fresh Land clan. A Squirrel clan is reported by Morgan 
from the Cliickasaw and by Speck from the Yuchi, and Morgan is 
confirmed by some evidence which I myself collected. A Partridge 



[ETH. ANN, 42 

clan is louncl only in P'loritla, and a Chief clan only among the Cliicka- 
saw. The Blackbu'd which Morgan reports as existing among the 
Chickasaw and the Haloba recorded among the same people by 
Gibbs are equally iini(j[uc. 

The order of distribution would, therefore, be something like this: 

1. Bird, Deer. 

2. Panther (and Wildcat). 

3. Bear, Fish, Raccoon. 


Warriors' Bed 

Bear . Tknther, and Wind 





hciskaleigalhead of bed) 
(Wind) ^ 

hilis haya(las^ 
□ was oF Deer clan) 
miko (Bird) 
henihalDeer) = 






The keH-les Food, ecK were 
placed here. 

Omedicme poh 

Fig. 75.— Plan of the Hitchiti Square Ground 

4. Wolf, Fox. 

5. Skimk. 

6. Wind, Beaver. 

7. Alhgator, Snake. 

8. Spanish. 

9. Buzzard, Earth, Squirrel. 

The importance of the deer in the economic life of the Southeast 
will readily account for the wade distribution of the Deer clan, but it 
is not so easy to explain the popularity of a clan bearing such a general 
name as the Bird. Possibly the name had something to do with the 




use of bird feathers in peace-making ceremonies, and in corroboration 
of that suggestion it must be remembered that the Bird clan, was 
reckoned a White clan among the Creeks and that it did not include 
the Eagle or the Turkey. It is interesting to note that in Florida the 
Bear and Bird clans were associated as they were among the Creeks. 
Tlie Panther clan is almost as popular as the Bird and Deer, being 
wanting only from the Cherokee; the nature of the animal accounts 
sufficiently for this. Of the remaining clans the Wind, Beaver, 


Wamor Sociehy Lod^e 

masfer of . x 
















assisfanl- chieF(Wolf ) 

bwn chieF (Bear) 

medicine poFs direchon of 

O ball p"^ 

chief (Wolf) 


warrior official 

5Cra^cnln^ p; ~ 

official ^ 

Warrior Sociefy Lodge 
Fig. 76.— P)an of the Yuchi Square Ground. (After Specli) 

Alligator, and Snake are most prominent among the Creeks and those 
tribes particularly influenced by them; the Wolf is most prominent 
among the Cherokee, and the Buzzard and Earth clans among the 
Timucua. It is rather remarkable that the Fish was less in evidence 
among the Creeks than among the Timucua on one side and the 
Chickasaw on the other. 

Wlicther the clans actually originated with those tribes among 
which they were most prominent in historic times and spread from 
them to the others is a question to which no answer can be given 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

on th(> basis of the data at liand. There seems some reason to thmk 
that the three leading Wliito clans, Wind, Bear, and Bird, were from 
very early times connected with the true Muskogee, that the Deer 
and Panther, possibly introduced from Florida, formed the nucleus 
of the War element at one time, or in certain towns, and that, in 
other towns — or perhaps at a later period — they were displaced by 
the Raccoon-Potato-Fox clans. It is also possible that, in this 
latter association, the Potato and Fox may represent an older element 


The TcokoFa probably 
shood here 


Omedicme pol"s 

hills haya(Fo)( usually) 
miko(Wind) °^ 

heniha (Bird) 

women enher 
from hhis corner 

The resh of the clans, princi- 
pally hcilokis, sah here ^oge^he^ 
Visihors from ohher f-owns 
were also placed here. 


Call ground 
-Plan of the Coweta Square Ground (I) 

later strengthened by the Raccoon at the period of immigration of 
the Tukabahchee and Okchai. From the habitat of the reptile and 
its relative prominence among the Lower Creeks we may also guess 
that the Alligator clan had its origin somewhere in the south, though 
there seems to have been no such clan in Florida. 

The writer has been adversely criticized for suggesting a foreign 
origin for one of the two moieties of certain of the north Pacific coast 
tribes on .the basis of the names and traditions connected with it. 




Nevertheless, whether this has a liistorical or psychological basis or 
both, the same phenomenon reappears in the Southeast. Here, as 
we have seen, the clans opposed to the ^liites, presumably those 
considered war clans, were known as Tcilokogalgi, ''people of a 
different speech." Not only so, but, as we have seen, in the most an- 
cient pure Muskogee to'wns, the Wliite clans are the most ^jrominent 

Holahmf^i Bed 


























(including Akfay- 
al-ci andHami 
which wene part-s of 

ball ground in 
lash square 

Warriors' Bed 

ball ground m 
the older Kawifa 
square ground. 

ancienHy for 

youthsi lal-er foi 




when hhere 
was no fash 

Fig. 78.— Plan of the Coweta Square Ground (II) 

and are those from which the town chief is oftenest selected. Tliis 
is the condition in Kasihta, Coweta, and above all among the Okfus- 
kee, the people supposedly descended from ancient Coosa. On the 
other hand the Raccoon clan rises to i^rominence in Tukabahchee 
and Okchai, and the towns related to these, and the Aktayatci clan 
in Wiogufki, Hilibi, and Eufaula. I will not attempt to carry the 
argument any farther, for it may easily be overdone, but leave the 
facts to the consideration of future students. 



[kTII. ANN. 42 


The Creek governmental unit was a body of people living for the 
most part in a single locality and known as a talwa. As has been 
already stated, this word is now used in a rather loose sense and is 
generally translated "towTi," but its connotation rather covers the 
English concept "tribe." Some bodies which the Creeks called 
talwa were once independent, and anciently it is probable that the 
term ai)plied only to distinct tribes, and that in later years it was 
used for those same tribes as constituent parts of the Creek confedera- 


kahca hadjo 
orkahca fiksiko 

ihco Fiksiko or 
iHco hadjulci 

medicine pol" 


miko (Alligator) 
miko apok^a (Bear) 
^medicine pot" 





{^he tasfanagis) 

women enter here 

ball ground 

Hem has' Bed 
Fig. 79.— Plan of the Sijuare Ground of tikatcka or Broken Arrow 

tion, while still later it was given to new bodies wluch separated 
from these, particularly such as came to have square grounds of 
theu' own. 

After their admission to the federated body each talwa remained 
virtually self-governing; its principal executive officer was known in 
the Muskogee language as the miko. Swan says that up to his time 
the Red towns had always been governed by warriors, the TVliite 



towns alone being under mikos.^" If he means by warriors men bear- 
ing the title tastanagi we can only say that we have not the slightest 
proof of it other than his statement. If he means that Red towTis 
were governed by mikos from Red clans he is probably right, as we 
have already seen. We may say regarding the miko, as he is ex- 
hibited to US both by early ■WTitcrs and by the Creeks themselves, 
that he was usually associated with peace. The bed in which he 
sat at the square ground was almost always occupied by White clans 
except when the chief himself belonged to a Red clan and then the 

Panther and Deer 

( hhe \aHer probably l^he henihas) 

a space here 
where ^he buF- 
ralo dance was 


medicine pohs O(warm) ' 

Opasa (cold) 

Tastanagis.Beai^and Wind 

women enher 

Warriors' Bed 
Fig. 80. — Plun of the Square Ground of Enfaula Hobayi (I) 

only exceptions were in the cases of the miko's clan and clans linked 
to it. Moreover, the Chiefs' bed is often called "the ^Vliite bed." 
The miko is thus the head of the town as a civil body as contrasted 
with its mihtary activities. I have been told that in ancient times 
the miko had j^articular charge of the big house or tcokofa and the 
public granary. Hawkins says of him that he "superintends all pub- 
lic and domestic concerns; receives all public characters; hears their 

» Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 279. 



[eTH, ANN. 42 

talks; lays them bcft)re the town, and delivers the talks of his town."-' 
Bartram remarks : 

"He has the disposal of the corn and frnits, and o;ives audience to 
ambassadors, dej)utics, and strangers who come to the town or tribe, 
receives presents, etc. He alone has the privilege of giving a public 
feast to the whole toMii, consisting of barbecued bear or fat bulls 
or steers, which he must kill himself; and this is called the king's 

Various clans mingled 
^o^e^he^, including Hie Akhayaki, 
PoFal^o, Panhher, Wind, Raccoon, 
Hix. Alliggbr : Bird, Beaver, WolF 

Four old men ah \he four posb to lead 

hasl-anagi (Bear) 
miko ( Bear) 

ball ground 

women and children of Hie hown 
(when hhere was no Fast") 

medicine poFs 

□ Oftie hilis 
haya sah 
under a sheo 
house for "^^'' '^'""^ 
medicine poFs 

Fig. 81.— Plan of the Square Ground of Eufaula Hobayi (II) 

feast, or royal feast. ./Vnd when he intends to give this frolic, after 
a successful hunt, he sends messengers to prepare the village. They 
display the king's standard in front and at one corner of his house, 
and hoist a flag in the Public Square, beat drums about the town, 
and the inhabitants dress and paint themselves, for there is dancing 
and frolicking all that night." ^^ 

" Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. ni, p. 69. 
" Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. m, p. 24 




Speck says regarding the Tuskegee miko: 

" The function of this dignitary, as the civil head of the town, 
was to receive all embassies from other tribes, to direct the decisions 
of the to^\Ti council according to his judgment, and finally to stand 
as the representative of the town in foreign negotiations. . . . The 
town chief had also to appoint the time for the annual harvest cere- 
mony. He had personal charge of the town square and the lodges 
about it, and it was his duty to distribute the broken sticks to the 
heads of families by which they were to number the days to elapse 


Warriors' Bed 

Taslanagis, Bird, 
raxiLher, (old and younfi', 
and young men orofher clans 

medicine pel's 

dasa and miko 



(when rtiere 
was no fash) 

Raccoon.R)lato,and Fox 

ChieFs' Bed 
Fig. 82.— Plan of the Chiaha Square Ground (I) 

before the ceremony. The Taskigi have been known to depose their 
town chief on the ground of inefficiency and to elect another from 
his clan instead." ^' 

Theoretically the miko was httle more than head of the tribal 
council and spokesman of his tribe, but his actual power varied with 
his individual ability. Although such cases may have occurred, 
there is no record of a miko undertaking any important action with- 

' Speck in Mem. Am. Anthrop. .\ss'n, vol. n, p. 113. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

out conferring with his council. The miko is called "king" by early 
writers and traders, and in fact the Creeks themselves applied this 
term to the highest officials among the whites, such as the governors 
of Carolina and Georgia, and to European monarchs, the King of 
Great Britain for instance having been known as Antapala miko 
lako, " the gi'eat miko on the other side of [the ocean]." As we have 
seen, the miko had the seat of honor in the public square, and we 
learn from Spanish sources that before horses were introduced he 


Henihas' Bed 

Aklayalci.Fotato, Fox. 
Raccoon, AUigalor, Tarai, 

(and probably Deer) 

0). QJ 
en m 

miko (Wind) 




































women enher here 

Bear, Panuier, Wolf, 

(and probably Beaver) 

Warriors' Bed 
also called Vbuhhs'BedCTcibanagalgi 
in^upa) and Tcilokogalgi inl-upa 

Fig. 83.— Plan of the Chiaha Square Ground (II) 

was carried about on state occasions in a litter borne on the shoulders 
of his principal men. 

The association between clanship and the office of miko has already 
been dwelt upon. It has been shown that the miko was ordinarily 
chosen from some particular clan, but that the clan would be changed 
if the tribe suffered any misfortune, or sometimes, as frequently hap- 
pened in later years, if the royal clan ran out so that no suitable 




person could be found in it to occup_y tlie position. It is probable 
that readjustments took place even in very early times, for Adair, 
speaking of the Chickasaw, says: "The most numerous tribe com- 
monly bore the highest command; yet their old warriors assure us, 
it was not so even within their ovm remembrance." ^" As between 
the available candidates inside of the proper clan, selection was made 
in several different ways, depending on the to\sTi. According to a 
Coweta informant, he was selected by the members of the White 
clans, including, of com'se, only those individuals who had seats on 


s Bed 




...ikoCPohafo) ""l 
heniha miko(fen^he^) 

dancers enhered here 

hilis haya 
(always Beaver) 

bal I Ground 


Henihas' Bed 
Fig. 84.— Plan of the Osochi Square Ground (I) 

the square ground. This agrees partially with what Ispahihtca told 
Doctor Gatschet, that at Kasihta the chief and "vice-chief" were 
selected by those who sat in the south or "white" bed.'' According 
to the description of the Kasihta square, which Ispahihtca himself 
gives, all of the clans in that bed were indeed White except the 
Potato and Deer. His remark may have been intended to cover 
only the White clans. 

» Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 31. 
82517°— 28 19 

1 Gatschet, Ms. notes; see p. 59. 



[ETn. ANN, 42 

According to Jackson Lewis, who was best acquainted with Upper 
Eufaida, the selection was made by the other members of the same 
chin, but this seems to have been unusual. According to a Ililibi 
Indian well versed in evorytliing connected with the organization of 
a towni, the miko was selected by three men, one taken from the clan 
of the former chief, one from the clan of his father, and a third who 
appears not to have belonged to any particular clan. My informant 
added that they iiniformly selected the humblest person belonging 


Warriors' Bed 


Bear , Panuier, 
Wildcat, Wolf 


^ ^ 

^ '^ 


-= S 


Q) O 

C^ O 



S B 


miko (Fox) 








" 5: 





S n 



tfi =j 




Henihas' Bed or Whihe Bed 
Fig. So.— Plan of the Osochi Square Ground (II) 

to the royal clan and those who picked him out always had to labor 
with him to induce him to accept. Some of this reluctance was no 
doubt a matter of etiquette, but the pubhc and ceremonial demands 
of the position were so great and so much of the well-being or misfor- 
tune of the tribe was attributed to the incumbent that he may well 
have shrimk from the responsibility. The miko was, however, at 
liberty to resign. Some of those who selected the miko might belong to 
Red clans but he was always inducted into office b}- a member of one 
of the White clans. He was seated upon an imsmoked buckskin and 




an address was delivered to him by a speaker appointed for that 
purpose in which his future duties and the expectations of the tribe 
reganhng him were set forth. In 1912 the then chief of the Yuchi in- 
formed me that when he was installed he was placed upon a buckskin 
which had been dressed by a virgin, and in the speech which was made 
to liim the other members of the tribe were called his "children" and 
his duties to them were set forth. He was told that all of the paths 
were white for him; that he was to be governed by that fact and shod 


Deers' Bed or 

Ffenhhers Bed 

J u 




-> o 



— c 









heniha( Bird) 




















■} c 


1 < 

' Otter, A^tayatci,'' 

Kapitca, Snake, 



> n r 

singers For 
women sa^ here 

Holahtas Bed 
Fig. 86.— Plan of the Square Ground of Ochesec Seminole 


no blood. The ceremony was completed by all passing around behind 
him in single file. This ceremony seems to have been common to all 
of the towTis of the confederacy. It emphasizes the miko's close 
connection with affairs of peace. 

In Tukabahchee the organization was somewhat different, there 
being seven principal chiefs (mikagi) who sat in the front seat of the 
Chiefs' bed, extending from the center to the southern end. Each of 
them had an assistant or heniha (an official to be noted presently). 
If the head miko, who sat in the center of the bed, did not succeed— 



(ETH. ANN. 42 

i. 0., if the town did not prosper under him, whiithor he was responsi- 
ble or not — or if his honilia died lie had to siirrentkir his place and 
move down to the foot of the row of iiiikos, the rest of whom moved up, 
and the man next to him took his place. Vacancies in the row of 
mikos were filled by the romaininn; mikos in consultation with the 
tastanagis, who were called over to tlie Chiefs' bed to confer about the 
matter. The man selected was escorted to his seat by another miko 
or by a tastanagi. Mention has already been made of the anomalous 


Warriors' Bed 

pile of earfh'abouh 
which l"he bufFalo 


Panthei^ Deer.Paliosa, 

WIIILIl iiie UUI IdlU 

dance hook place 

Alligator, and Kapika 

(lasl- including AkFayaFci) 

K O 


Bird, Bear, 

miko( Beaver) f^ 


and X 


^ Polato. ' 


3 ^ 

( last" including 



■> r 

1 r 

J U L. 

VN^dand Snake 

■> n r 

( no special name for bed) 

Fig. 87. — Plan of the Square Ground of Okfuskee Seminole 


miko called Ispokogi miko, who perhaps enjoyed priestly functions, 
but of course nothing is knowii regarding the manner of his selection, 
the institution having died out too long ago. 

Tukabahchee preserves its old square organization very well and 
its system of government may be representative of that of other 
Creek towns, but I am inclined to tliink that considerable differences 
always existed. The Coweta head chief is said to have been elected 
at a meeting of the entire town, but the actual selection may have 




been entnisted to the White chxns (sco p. 281). Probably he was 
chosen in the same \vaj- as the second chief who is said to have been 
nominated by the Wliite clans, and the nomination confirmed, merely 
as a matter of form, by the Tcilokis. According to Legus Ferryman, 
the chiefs at Lutcapoga, along with the other ofhcers of each of the 
three beds, were chosen by the members of the other two, the only 
limitation being in respect to the clan from which they could be taken. 
Tlie chiefs of the Texas Alabama wore elected at a general meeting 
of the tribe, but this statement applies only to recent times, and 

ballposl-s • 


Fig. 88. — Okfuskee Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

before they left the other Creeks in Alabama their custom may have 
been different. 

As we have seen in the case of Tukabahchee, there were sometimes 
assistant chiefs. At Tukabahchee they were all of one clan, but 
sometimes they were of different clans, perhaps in such cases the 
heads of their respective clans, for we know that the oldest or most 
influential uncle in each presided at clan councils and advised his 
feUows regarding their conduct. This has been spoken of already. 
At Pakan tallahassee the miko, who belongs to the Aktayatci clan, sits 



in the Inicldle of the north hed, on his left his heniha, and on his right, 
in succession, a second chief of tlie Wind clan, a third chief of the 
Bear (or Panther) clan, and a fourth chief of the Bu-d (or Panther) 

Usually, however, there was one principal subordinate chief, or 
vice chief, miko apokta ("twin chief") as he was called, and the 
customs regarding him seem to have varied considerably fi-om town 


Warriors' Bed 

PanUier, Deer, 

Tami , Alligator, 



Bird , 
Beaver , 



miko apokha(8ird) 

m I koC Beaver) 

< s 

C fU o 






3- O 


O Oi -^ 

~J 0_ QJ 


3 =Z 

R-"5 n 



re Cu 

■ 3 







Akhayakis' Bed 

Fig. 89.— Plan of the Square Qround of Tallahasutci Seminole 

to town. Hawkins says of this chief: "Wlien a Mic-co, from age, 
infirmity, or any other cause, wants an assistant, he selects a man who 
appears to him the best quahfied, and proposes him to the counselloi's 
and great men of the town, and if lie is approved of by them, they 
appoint him as an assistant in pubhc affairs, and he takes his seat on 
this cabin accordingly." The second chief in Tulsa Canadian, Lutca- 
poga, and probably in the other Tulsa touais as well, belonged to 
the Beaver clan, the same as that which furnished the first chief. 
According to Legus Perryman, the second chief of Lutca])oga was 




called tho ita'Iwa mi'ko. Ho was assistant to the head chief and, 
while the authority of the latter extended over the town as a whole, 
he concerned himself with matters of a more local character, par- 
ticularly those connected with the square. He might be called the 
"square chief." Similarly, the second chief of Coweta, who was taken 
from the Panther clan, is said to have been "chief of the square," 
while the head chief was "speaker for the other towns friendly to 
Coweta." Tills may refer back to the time when the Coweta chief 
was also chief of all the Lower Creeks. The second chief of LiwahaU 
is said to have been of the Aktayatci or Fox clan and to have taken 
charge if, for any reason, the miko had to leave the squai-e ground. 
In Likatcha the miko 
belonged to the Alligator 

clan and the miko apokta ball post- » 

to the Bear. I was in- 
formed that at Chiaha 
the miko and heniha were 
both taken from the Bear 
clan, but the miko apokta ,_. 

must have been intended 
instead of the heniha. 
From Speck it appears 
that the position of miko 
apokta at Tuskegee was 
of a less permanent char- 
acter. He says : " If the 
mil'o could not leave his 
town he appointed a dele- 
gate who bore his title to 
attend the councils of 
other towns or those of 
the Confederacy." ^- 

Connected evidently 
with the institution of a miko apokta was a condition reported 
from several towns in which the chieftainship alternated between 
two clans. I was informed that in Tcatoksofka such an alter- 
nation took place between the Bear and Beaver clans. If the 
head chief belonged to the Bear clan and the second cliief to the 
Beaver clan, and the former died the latter would become head 
chief, a member of the Bear clan being chosen as second cliief. In 
Tuskegee a similar alternation took place between the Bear and Wind 
clans, and in the old Abilika town near Eufaula an alternation is 
reported between the Bear and Raccoon. This Abihka square has, 
however, long been given up and the other Abilika towns do not seem 

an ouHside arbor 
P T 

Fig. 90.— Tallahasutci Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

" Speck in Mem. Am. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 113. 



[ETn. ANN. 42 

to have preserved the custom, although in two of them the chiefs 
are Bear and the henihas Raccoon. In the Seminole town of Tala- 
hasutci there is said to have been an alternation between the Beaver 
and the Bird clans. I was told that, after the last reorganization of 
the Hitchiti square in wliich the miko was taken from the Bird clan 
and the lieniha from the Deer, in an emergency the latter could be 
made miko and the former heniha. 

In addition to the chiefs, second chiefs, and similar leaders there 
was anciently a considerable body of persons called mikagi, or mikalgi, 

ball ground 























benches on which 
anyone might- si !■ 

heniha (Toad) 
miko (Bird) 



Toad or Tcols-ob. 




Henihas Bed 
Fig. 91.— Plan of the Square Ground of Hitchiti Seminole 

the plural of miko, who performed minor functions. These were 
ordinarily taken from the same clan as the head miko, though it may 
be possible that the appellation was extended beyond under certain 
circumstances, particularly in later times. It is even possible that 
the name may have been bestowed at the busk on account of an 
ancestor who had this title and with no office or dignity attached. 
Ail we can say is that the mikagi belonged theoretically, and usually, 
to the clan of the head miko. The following account of this class by 




Deer, Raccoon. 



miko(Kapika) u 
(■ashanagi (Pan^he^) 
(no henma in hhis'town') 

Aktayatd, Snake, 




ash heap 
where women ;■' "'i 
enhered '■— -' 

Fig. 92.— Plan of the Square Ground of Eutau]a Seminole 


n^DiciNe Pun 


Fig. 93.— Eufaula Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 



(ETII. ANN. 42 

Stiggins contains practically all that we know about them. Its im- 
portance must be allowed to compensate for the execrable English 
in wliich it is cast: 

"For a better distribution of their public business, such as public 
work of planting and tending in corn, &c., their public town field 
and gathering their Eupon or Cassine leaves for their black drink — 
when every man of age is obliged to attend and do his part or be fined 
according to his circumstances — the inhabited parts of the nation 


Pohab Bed 


Potato and Deer 

(including fehosal 

Bear , 

and some 




miko (Bird) 


o -I- 

c :r 


O Q) 

CU 3 

z) a. 




3 t" 




=1 CD 

women enher here 2. 

Tastanagis, AUlayatci, 
Panther, Alligtor, 
biiake,and Kapilca 

Warriors' Bed 
Fig. 94. — Plan of the Square Ground of Liwahali Seminole (I) 

are laid out into town districts designated from some creek, ridge, 
or point to some other noted point, which boundary is organized 
into certain town corporated precincts under the moral guardianship 
of their mic cul ga wliich term is the plural of mic co, a term of grada- 
tion more applicable to the office of overseer or guardian in my con- 
ception than to that of a King, (as most people will interpret it,) 
as many towns have at least one tenth of its population for 7nic cul ga 





various clans mingled 






ball ground 

A O 

medicine r^ 

various clans mingled. 

Fig. 95. — Plan of the Square Ground of Liwahali Seminole (II) 

oball pos^ 

— ■ ^rack hor n 

^ball sNck 

pile of medicine~ 

The seal's were each oFa single spliMog 

Tlie Semmoles did noh remove fhe ashes of ihe fire. 

Fig. 96.— Liwahali Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 



(r.TII. ANN. 42 

which is none too many for guardians to watch over them and morahze 
their conduct, 1)ut it is constituting by far too many kings for one 
town or principahty. When it is tliought necessary for the principal 
men or committee of townsmen to make a new mic co, they proceed 
very ceremoniously in their rude way to his inauguration, to wit 
without his being previously consulted on the subject, when they 
have made the determination to effect it, and at their townhouse 
assembly they advance up to him, and call him at the same time in a 


R accoon , Potato , 
Bii'A .and Beaver 



■ t 






medicine pol"S 
(warmed here) 

miko (Bear) 
l-ast-anagi (Wind) 


Aktayatci, Deer. 

Fig. 97.— Plan of the Square Ground of Chiaha Seminole 

loud, long, and slirill tone by a name that he is thereafter to go by, 
with the addition of mic co, for instance such as yo ho lo micco or 
Ispocoga mic co, etc.; and at the same time they smear his face all 
over with white clay, a ceremony imitating in importance the accolade 
of knighthood and Sir. Though some of the miccos do rise to be 
principal chiefs it is by merit, for nominal office [of the mic cul ga] 
is for town purposes to admonish, regulate, and keep in peace the 
members of their town people by whom they are regarded with respect 
and deference. There are other applicable Sir names given to 




distinguish their grade in their town poUce. They attend the ap- 
pointed national calls only as mutes, for in the national assembly 
none have a voice but such as are appointed to national purposes." ^' 
Tlie henihalgi were devoted to peace even more than the mikagi. 
As I have shown elsewhere, a White clan was almost a,lways chosen 
for this office, and originally the position appears to have been a 
particular prerogative of the Wind people.^^"' Their section in the 

where Shawnee 

aanced the 
)buf Falo dance 
I- preceding 


ball posl-s 

Fig. 98.— Chiaha Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

square groimd was usually known as the "White bed" and was often 
diametrically opposite that of the Warriors. Hawkins says of the 
henihalgi: "These have the direction of the public works apper- 
taining to the town, such as the public buildings, building houses in 
town for new settlers, or working in the fields. They are particu- 
larly charged with the ceremony of the a-ce (a decoction of the 

' Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 15. 

»• See pp. 194-195. 



[ETH, ANN. 42 

cassine yupon, called by the traders black drink), under the direction 
of the mic-co." ^* They thus constituted a kintl of Creek Depart- 
ment of the Interior. In some towns, in conjunction with the Bear 
clan, they had particular charge of the feathers used in the "feather 
dance." In Tukabahchee every miko, tastanagi, and imala lako was 
accompanied by a heniha who sat at his left, antl when an official 
was sent on an errand a heniha had to accomjiany him. Since in 



rkntlier ( ish warnorl. 
Potato (2nd warrior) , 
and visiHn^ warriors 


a -I 


(_} medicine 













Visitors' Bed 
Fig. 99.— Plan of the Square Ground of Mikasuki Seminole (t) 

this town the mikos and most of the tastanagis and imalas belonged 
to the Red clans while the busk was a peace ceremony the associa- 
tion of henihas with these may have been for the jiurpose of securing 
or marking the prevalence of peace. A similar custom probably pre- 
vailed in other towns, but it has generally fallen into disuse. Its 
vestigial character at Tuskegee is shown by the report on these 
officials made to Doctor Speck: "There were always two men of 
recognized ability in dancing, having also a knowledge of the rites, 

" Hawkins in Oa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 69. In Chiaha, at least, it was one of their functions to 
compose differences; see pp. 553, 555 in the paper following. 




who were known as Jiiniha, or hinihn Idl'l'o. Their occupation was 
chiefly to procure leaders for the various dances or to lead them- 
selves, and to encourage the participants when they became fa- 
tigued." 35 

It is generally agreed that the henihalgi, along with the niikagi, 
and the isti atca'gagi, a class to be considered later, formed the 
council of the head miko. According to Jackson Lewis, these officials 
governed the entire town and laid down certain regulations which a 


Any oF hhe ohher cbns^ 
seahn^ nol" definihe. 

medicine poFsdhol- 
Oand I cold) 

Ofpeople come 
here to take med- 


Pan til er, 




rniko(5nake,laler "^"^ 

Panther) U 

laherAlligator)(he speaks 
for fhe miko) 


women en far here 

Any oF [he 
Hie wesf bed; 
deFinihe. {Mosh 

clans noh in 
seahng nol- 
oF ^he Beaver 

were here.) 

Fig. 100.— Plan of the Square Oround of Mikasuki Seminole (11) 

man from the Warriors' bed was called upon to announce. According 
to one or two men the miko's heniha was the one who made announce- 
ments, delivered the "long talks" at the busk grounds and called 
out the new titles which were conferred. This may have been the 
case in later times when the square grounds had begun to show signs 
of disorganization, but I think it was not true of the organization 
when it was intact. On the contrary, this function seems to have 
been performed by the chief's yatika or inteq)reter. 

■* Speck in Mem. Am. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 114. 



[ETH. ANN. 42 

Tlio yatika was chosen by j^roferonco from the dan of the chief 
but coukl be taken from any, and he usually sat beside the chief 
during the ceremonial so that he could interpret his wishes to the 
assembly. Sometimes, or during a part of the ceremony, he sat by 
himself. At Liwahali he is said to have been seated in the middle of 
the south or Warriors' bed. 

There was only one hohljonaya or "war speaker" in a town at a 
time, and probably some towns were without any. He was not 


//2 PACTS "^ THIS 


Fig. 101. — Mikasuki Seminole Ceremonial Ground in 1912 

necessarily a warrior and was taken by preference from the clan of 
the chief. Hoboi-hilyahola, however, the greatest war speaker the 
Creeks ever had, and one of their greatest men, belonged to the 
Potato clan at Tukabahchee. At Kasihta the seat of the war speaker 
was in the corner of the Warriors' bed nearest the bed of the cliiefs. 
A common speaker was called Asimbonaya. 

I am somewhat uncertain regarding the relations existing between 
the yatika and holibonaya, for it is said of each of them that he was 



" the best speaker in the town." The two offices maysometimes have 
been combined, but it is evident that they -were usually distinct. 

In Tukabahchee and all of those towns of which the ancient organi- 
zation has been preserved, either m the memories of the Indians or 
in fact, there were three general classes of war officials. The highest 
were the tastanagalgi, the next in rank the imala laka'lgi, or "big 
imalas," and the third the imala labotskalgi or "Uttle imalas." At 
Tukabahchee, and probably m the greater number of towns, the 
tastanagis sat at the western end of the north bed, but, as I have 
shown elsewhere, their position varied, and sometimes the tastanagis 
and imalas were seated in thfferent beds. The Tukabahchee arrange- 
ment is given by Hawkms as that in Kasihta in his time. He does 
not indeed give the Indian names of the various grades of warriors 
but he states that there were three of them and that promotion was 
regular from lowest to highest. In most towns the tastanagis and 
imalas received their positions on account of warhke 
feats, not because of ancestry or clan comiection. 
One of my informants said that a tastanagi was a man 
who "carried out the determinations of the town." 
The leader of the tastanagis was usually known as 
the tastanagi lako, "big warrior," and Hawkins states 
that he was selected from among the tastanagis by fig. 102. — Face 
the miko and isti atcagagi.^* According to the same paintmg used by 

, , . , -1 1-1 ■ , , *•>« Tuskegee In- 

wnter the highest title to which a warrior could as- dians. The spots 
pire was that of " Great Leader" (Is-te-puc-cau-chau f^i" J^'^f '^ 
tlducco [isti pakatca lako]), which required "a long cross-hatched 

, , . , . spots green 

course or years and great and numerous successes in 
war." The head warrior of Tukabahchee was known as the 
Tastanagi simiabaiya.'* He was privileged to call the whole town 
together. According to a Coweta informant, in his town the 
tastanagis were elected by the head men of the town from the Red 
clans, but, although it is probable that, on account of the theory 
regardmg them, more warriors would arise from the Red than 
from the White clans, they were certahil}^ not drawn exclusively from 
such clans. These officials all had to do with war and with the ball 
game which is called " the brother of the war." War, while decided 
upon in councU, was announced by the Big Warrior. According to a 
Coweta uiformant ball games were arranged by the Big Warriors of 
the towns concerned, each taking such assistants as he desired, but 
in Kasihta there was a special official, the halisi tastanagi, who at- 
tended to such matters. The Tastanagis were also the native j^oHce, 
the Big Warrior being "chief of police " ; they carried out the decisions 
of the miko and the isti atcagagis, and they punished any one who 

" Hawkins in Oa. Hist. Soe. Colls., vol. m, p. 70. 
82517°— 28 20 


failed to obey the laws and regulations of the council or who failed to 
attend the annual busk. When matters of great importance wore 
to be discussed they were called over to the Chiefs' bed to take part 
in the deliberations; on other occasions matters were sent over to 
them to be ferreted out. 

As ha])pened with the henihas, the functions of the tastanagis 
became much altered in later times, and in many Seminole towns 
there was but one tastanagi, who took the places of the old yatika and 
cliief 's heniha. In Tuskegee they seem to have su])]ilanted both the 
subordinate mikos and the isti atcagagi as counsellors to the chief. 
Speck says that they "formed the chief's council which decided 
matters of public importance," and that they "were the actual poten- 
tates of the tovsTi in affairs of war or in its relations with other tribes.'* 
They also acted as a local police, and executed the sentences im- 
posed upon criminals by the local courts established after the re- 
moval to Oklahoma. This, however, was really a continuation of 
their duties as police officers for the old council of chiefs. 

Milfort speaks of the "tastanegy" as if he were the head war chief 
of the entire Creek Nation, but ordinarily there does not appear to 
have been a permanent official of this kind. Nevertheless what he 
has to say of tliis official is probably applicable to the tastanagi lako 
of each town : 

"His mission consisted in directing all of the war operations, in 
taking all measures necessary to revenge an injury inflicted on the 
nation and in defending its rights. He was invested with authority 
sufficient for this purpose; but this authority, which made him the 
first sentinel of the state, the father and the buckler of the mother- 
land, lasted only so long as the danger; once peace was reestablished 
and the troops returned into the bosom of the nation, he again 
became a plain citizen, and was only the first soldier. If he had not 
given occasion for any complaint during the exercise of his authority, 
he always preserved the right to resume his post on the first necessity; 
and for that same purpose he was charged with the duty of watching 
over the public safety continually, and informing the peace chiefs of 
injuries inflicted on the nation, or matters which might disturb its 
tranquillity." '' 

Milfort's description of the ceremonial to which he claims that he 
was subjected when he was made tastanagi is also worth reproducing. 
As above stated, the position which he assigns to himself was alto- 
gether superior to that of an ordinary tastanagi, but under McGiUi- 
vray many innovations were introduced into the Creek political 
organization, and a head warrior for the entire nation may have 
been one of them. Whether Milfort actually went through such a 

» Speck, in Mem. Am. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 113. » Milfort, Voy., pp. 236-238. 


ceremony or not, all of the features of it which he gives are true to 
al>original Creek life and must have been learned from observation if 
not from experience. It is of particular interest to notice that the 
use of a litter for ]3rinci])al ■i>ersonages seems to have been preserved 
until nearly the end of the eighteenth century. Probably it had 
survived ceremonially long after it had been supplanted in other 
ways by the horse. 

Milfort's account is as follows: 

"A part of the assembly repaired to my house; and, when all had 
arrived, one of the old men made me ascend a kind of litter covered 
with a bear sldn, surrounded with garlands of ivy leaves, and borne 
by four band chiefs. When I was placed on this litter, they set 
forward to return to the grand cabin. The following order of march 
was observed. 

"Many young warriors, each bearing in his hand an eagle tail 
fastened to a stick, marched on, dancing, making contortions, and 
uttering terrifying cries. They were preceded by a master of cere- 
monies, who had in his hand a coconut attached to a stick, in which 
seeds were enclosed, so that he could beat time by shaking it. He 
had moreover at his side a young savage who accompanied hun on a 
kind of tabor. In front, behind, and on each side of my litter, 
marched old band chiefs, each of whom also bore in his hands an 
eagle tail, part of which was painted red. Last came six priests or 
medicine men, who had on their shoulders two deer skins after the 
style of a chasuble, the haii-s of wliich had been preserved, and who 
carried in one hand a swan's wing, and in the other the plant which 
is used in making the war medicine which is taken during this cere- 

"When we approached the grand cabin, the procession halted; 
a priest then came to meet us accompanied by two young warriors, 
each cf whom bore a great gourd with an opening above large enough 
to insert the hand. These gourds were painted red, and contained 
water, in which had been put the juice of the plant of which I have 
just spoken. Tliis priest stopped about twenty paces from us, and 
there, dipping his hands into tliis water, he made an aspersion, 
singing a hymn or invocation to the genius of war. When he was 
through, all of the chiefs who were awaiting us in the grand cabin, 
set out to meet us, marching six abreast. When they had gotten 
near this priest, they dipped their hands into these same gourds, and 
moistened their faces; then the six priests who were beliind me 
advanced to them, and with one hand placed the herb which they 
held on their faces, and with the other passed the swans' wings 
over them as if to wipe it off. As soon as the chiefs had undergone 
this ceremony they returned to the cabin; and, when they had all 

" Evidently the asi. 


entorod, the six priests or medicine men resumed their places behind 
my litter, and wo all n^painid there together. The old man who had 
placed me on the litter, came at once to help me descend, and placed 
me on a bison skin which hatl been prepared for this purpose. Then 
the whole assembly drank the cassine or the tea-like drink, and for 
twenty-four hours they took nothing but the war medicine. 

''I had not yet drunk this medicine although I had been made a 
little war chief and I had commanded in the place of the grand 
cliief, because I had taken care to make for myself a particular 
medicine ; for it is indispensable to have one in order to be assured of 
the confidence of the savages; but this time it was necessary to 
imitate the assembly, and drink the general medicme. I was not 
long in experiencing a strong feeling of sickness, which forced me to 
eject all of the medicine I had taken, and to imitate the assembly 
in that. This very disgusting ceremony lasted until sunrise next day. 
Then the entire assembly undressed, and we went, absolutely naked, 
into a circular cabin where the priests had gone to await us. Each 
of them had brought thither a brass kettle, in which they had had 
the war medicine boiled. Shortly afterward the subordinate chiefs 
brought stones which they had heated red hot in the fire in the 
center; and the priests, while singing, threw upon them the water 
which was contained in the two gourds of which I have already sopken 
which occasioned a dreadful heat and steam. The entire assembly 
was in a very profuse perspu'ation, and it was so great on all parts of 
my body that, although I was very healthy, I thought that it would 
be impossible to resist it. We remained in this condition about half 
an hour, and then part of the chiefs went out of the cabin, the priests 
surromided me, and we all left and went immediately to throw our- 
selves into a river a short distance from the cabin. It was not without 
much fear that I decided to imitate the entire assembly in that; it 
appeared to me very dangerous in the perspiring condition in which I 
then was to throw myself at once into the cold water; but it was im- 
possible for me to do otherwise, and I suffered nothing more than 
the fear (j'en fus quitte pour la pem*)- I think, however, that the 
purgation which I had undergone in drmking the war medicine, 
prevented the ill effects of such a bath. On going out of the water, 
where we remained only a short time, each one dressed himself, and 
we retxirned to the grand cabin, in which a magnificent repast awaited 
us. The yoimg people then had permission to enter the square in 
the grand cabin, to dance aroimd the fire, which bui-ned continually 
during the entire period of this ceremony, lasting three days, during 
which no member of the assembly was allowed to go outside of the 
compass of the square, or to sleep. I was so much the more imder 
obligations to remain there with the assembly, as it was for me alone 
that the ceremony took place. 


"I was seated in a distinguished place, and I had priests on both 
sides; if I hapjiened to get drowsy, one threw fresh water in my 
face, and the other rubbed it with Httlo stones, which he had taken 
care to put into some water beside me for this puiijose. 

"The three days having elapsed I was conducted home in the 
same manner as had been observed in bringing me to the grand 
cabin. When we arrived there the oldest chief proclaimed my 
appomtment. and informed mo that I was now the first sentinel of 
the nation, at whose voice all of the young warriors were prepared to 
march; that the ordeals through wliich I had just passed, had for 
their object to make me maderstand that nothing must cause my 
zeal to relax, and that I must bear with equal courage cold, heat, and 
hunger, in order to defend the interests of the nation. When the 
old man had finished the assembly broke up, and each person returned 
to his home."" 

Tlie imalas were of course of less importance: in the progressive 
decline of Creek institutions few towns have retamed them, and 
many people have forgotten there ever was such a class of officials. 
By one informant an imala was described as "a man whose advice 
was worth receivmg an^Tvhere. " I was told that at Tukabahchee 
the big imalas were called mto comicil by the Chiefs along with 
the tastanagis on rare occasions, but this was never done in the 
case of the little imalas. Nevertheless a question might be referred 
from the town council to the tastanagis to be considered by them 
and all of the imalas in a separate council. The imalas acted in 
general as assistants and messengers for the tastanagis, and per- 
formed the smaller services. 

Below the imalas were the tasikayalgi. This word is now used 
in the general sense of "citizens" but it means "warriors" and 
originally designated the common warriors, those who had received 
busk names but as yet had done nothing to merit further promotion. 
Hawkins says of them: "The second class of warriors [he treats the 
tastanagis and imalas as one class] is the Tusse-ki-ul-gee. All who 
go to war, and are in company, when a scalp is taken, get a war 
name. The leader reports their conduct, and they receive a name 
accordingly. This is the Tus-se-ki-o-chif-co, or war name."*^ It 
would seem, therefore, that the name tasikayalgi apjiUed to all those 
in the fourth bed and that tasikayalgi intupa might very well be a 
synonvm for tcibanagalgi intupa, "youths' bed," the term usually 
given to it nowadays. As a matter of fact I find it used for that 
very bed by the Nuyaka Indians. 

There is one other class of officials to be noted and this an im- 
portant one, but a class which has fallen so much into abeyance 

" Miltort, Voy., pp. 220-228. " Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 70. 


that it is now difficult to determine its exact status and functions. 
It is the class of isti utcagagi, "revered," "sacred" or "beloved 
men." We are assisted hi forming some conception of them, fortu- 
nately, by Hawkins, who, ia his accoimt of the Kasihta square, calls 
the south bed the " is-te-chague-ul-gee in-too-]iau, the cabin of the 
beloved men," and he describes these men from whom it was named 

" There are great men who have been war leaders, and who al- 
though of various ranks, have become estimable in a long course of 
public service. They sit themselves on the right division of the 
cabin of the Mic-co, and are his counsellors. The family of the 
Mic-co, and great men who have thus chstinguished themselves, 
occupy this cabin of the beloved men."" 

I was told that these men are the "foundation" of the busk, by 
which I miderstand it is meant that they furnish the brains that 
keeps the busk ahve and in proper order. In fact some old Hilibi 
Indians referred to them as "the brains of the busk." They are 
exempt from taking any part in the duties, dances, etc., comiected 
with the busk except the taking of the medicines. The same Indians 
stated that they held meetings in advance and planned the prepara- 
tion of the beds, the camps, and every part of the program. There 
were only a few in each town. In Tukabahchee there were four in 
the north bed, four in the south bed, and four in the east bed, and 
each of these had a leader. The four in the south bed were called 
isti atcagagi sUlga, and they belonged to the Raccoon clan, that 
of the miko. The others were taken from different clans. Jackson 
Lewis stated that the isti atcagagi were of the same clan as the 
miko, or of related clans, but this statement could have applied 
only to the isti atcagagi slilga. In Tukabahchee the name of each 
was a title borne in succession by each person elected to fiU the 
position after the death of the previous incumbent. Kealedji was 
organized much like Tukabahchee, but the isti atcagagi sCllga sat 
at the south end of the Chiefs' bed mstead of in the south bed. 
At Laplako there were a few isti atcagagi in the west or Chiefs' bed. 
At Lalogalga there was until lately one isti atcagagi, a Panther, I 
beheve. At Talladega there were about three m each of the three 
beds of the town. In the square of the Western Abihka to^vn there 
were four isti atcagagi in the Warriors' bed and some at each post 
in the bed belonging to the Wind clan; also some in the west bed. 
In tliis town it was the isti atcagagi who arranged ball games. My 
informant regarcUng the Kan-tcati ground said that there were none 
of these ofhcials there in his time. In Otciapofa there were four 
isti atcagagi to each of the three beds. At Okfuskee there were 
two isti atcagagi in the east bed and one in each of the others. 

" Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, pp. 70-71, 



At Upper Eufaula there was one of these men in each of the three 
beds, the cue in the north belonging to the Bear clan, that in the 
east to the Deer clan, and that in the south to the Aktayatci clan. 
Tliese men gave new names to boys. In Wiogufki there were no isti 
ateagagi, and only one tastanagi, who performed the fmictions of 
those officials. When the last Hitcliiti square groimd was organized 
the tastanagis and imalas were used in place of the isti ateagagi. 
In Alabama their place was taken by the tastanagis alone. Accord- 
ing to one of my uaformants, in Pakan tallahassee the Bird clan was 
used as isti ateagagi, and the Wind clan is said to have performed 
their functions in Okchai. At Liwahali they appointed the tastanagis. 

At Tuskegee they seem to have lost their official position. "A 
man who amassed property," says Speck, "or raised himself m 
pubhc esteem by other means was called isti adjdqa, 'man beloved.' 
No civil office, however, was indicated by this title, but those bearing 
it occupied a certain place in the lodges about the square. In a 
general way 'beloved men' also means those who have observed all 
the dietary taboos of the ceremonies, and even, in its broadest sense, 
those who have undergone the purging and taken their part in the 
religious performances."^'' 

Putting together the fact, apparent in most towns of which we 
have information, that the isti ateagagi were scattered about in the 
different beds with what Hawkins tells us and the small items of 
uxformation that may still be gathered it is fairly plain who these 
"beloved men" were. They were evidently the elders or veterans 
of the town who had passed through the various degrees of advance- 
ment but were probably not fit for active field service against an 
enemy. Their experience was, however, of maximum value to the 
community, and hence they governed the busk and were custodians 
of information regarding tliis and regarding the lore of the tribe 
generally. Therefore they were at the same time comasellors to the 
chief and the more active officials. Although the henihalgi are now 
generally regarded as the chief's counseUors there is evidence that 
anciently they occupied a position of less prominence in this regard 
than the isti ateagagi. It will be noticed that Hawkins gives their 
name to the bed usually called after the henihas, while he actually 
seats them in a position in the chiefs' bed which the henihas often 
occupied. It is true that in many towns tastanagis have assmned 
their places but this is a result of a still further coUapse of the old 
social organization, isti ateagagi having given way first to henihalgi 
and both later to tastanagalgi. The "beloved men," it should be 
remembered, were neither devoted entirely to war nor entirely to 
peace, and therefore their fimctions could very well fall in part to 
the peace officials and in part to the war officials. It seems to have 

" Speck in Mem. Am. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 114. 


been this class which was pomtod out to Milfort as the real rulers of 
the Creek nation wlien he inciTiired for their "king."'*' 

Particular attention shoukl be called to the differentiation of the 
isti atcagagi belonging to the clan of the chiefs as isti atcagagi sdlga 
in Tukabahchee and elsewhere. This chfferentiation indicates the 
invasion of the clan and hereditaiy ideas into an institution mainly 
based on merit. I do not mean that it necessarily represents a later 
development, yet it was the side of the institution which became more 
pronoimced in later times. Even an informant as old as Jackson 
Lewis, in describing the isti atcagagi — probably as recognized in 
Eufaula — says that the term was applied to the men of the same clan 
as that of the town chief or to men of related clans. He adds that 
they sat m the central part of the north bed and embraced those who 
would succeed to the chieftaincy. As we have seen, they were not 
solely of the royal clan, but it is probably true that those who hap- 
pened to belong in this group often became chiefs. In Pakan talla- 
hassee and Okchai the hereditary tendency has gone so far that the 
term is applied to members of the Bird and Wind clans, respectively. 
It is to be added that the same evolution has taken place with another 
merit group, the tastanagis. At old Abihka near Eufaula I was 
told that the Raccoon clan were the tastanagis, at Kan-tcati the 
tastanagis were of the Panther clan, and at Lutcapoga and Likatcka 
of the Aktayatci. At Mikasuki part of the Panther clan is called the 
"first warriors," part of the Potato clan the "second warriors," and 
parts of both the " lesser warriors. " Nothmg could show the decline 
of the system better than the idea expressed bj^ one of my informants 
that all of the occupants of a certain bed were at the same time 
tastanagis, tcilokis, and henihas. In Tukabahchee, where the old 
system is still partially in force, it yet happens that most of the 
tastanagis belong to the Raccoon or royal clan, most of the big 
imaias to the Potato, and most of the little imalas to the Panther 
and Bear. It must be remembered, however, that the two first 
classes were accompanied at the busk by henihas of the Wind clan. 
We find, furthermore, that certain clans from the Red side are par- 
ticularly associated with war and often sit in the same bed as the 
warriors from whom many of their members were chosen, and no 
doubt tliis is the real reason why they came in time to be confounded 
with them. As shown elsewhere, the clans principally associated with 
war and oftenest seated in the Warriors' bed were the Panther, 
Deer, Raccoon, Potato, and Aktayatci.""" Regarding the Panther, I 
have evidence that there was a mental association of the character- 
istics of the animal with the occuj^ation, and I was told in the case 
of the lesser imalas among the Tukabahchee that they were taken 
from the Panther and Bear because those two anunals have a fierce 

" Milfort, M6m., pp. 208-209 "■ See p. 237. 


dis]>osition — and this in spite of the ahnost universal classification of 
the Beai- as a peace clan. Further evidence of degeneration is shown 
in some of the Seminole towns ui Oklahoma where a singe tastanagi 
has usuq^ed the functions of both the chief's heniha and the miko 

At Tukabahchee, and j)robably the other principal Creek towns 
as well, the isti atcagagi, the tastanagis, and some of the other classes 
bore names which were passed on to their successors, and hence 
amomited to titles. In fact the war names owned by each clan were 
thus passed on and were therefore rather titles than true names. 
Suice these titles were conferred under state auspices the persons 
bearing them might be regarded as officials and from that fact pos- 
sessed of a share in its government. The government of a Creek town 
or little state, for such it really was, is thus seen to have rested on 
bodies of men owing their positions partly to descent and partly to 
recognized prowess in war. When it was in its prime it is probable 
that merit vastly overbalanced, the isti atcagagis, tastanagis, imalas, 
and tasikayas having owed their positions mauily, at least, to indi- 
vidual accomplislmients. Although the mikagi and henihalgi had 
to do with peace mamly, they had gone through with the war disci- 
plme and had been selected from among the warriors. While they 
must always belong to certain clans they were, beyond that restriction, 
elective, and, as these clans were usually numerous, a considerable 
choice could be exercised. While it is true that the legislative and 
executive power was vested m a small number of people these were 
persons who had, for the most part, worked their way up by their 
talents and bravery, and were really representative of the native 
ideals of what was highest and most worthy. A power of recall was 
also exercised in the case of the chief and it is probable that we 
should find that the same power existed in effect over the other 
offices. A separation of governmental functions had begun in some 
particulars, the henilias being a kmd of Department of the Interior 
concerned with the pursuits of peace, and the various classes of 
warriors, particularly the tastanagis, a department concerned with 
war, and also constituting an internal police. 

Speck is the only authority for the use of face paintings to mark 
differences in rank. He says: 

"Facial painting was employed to indicate rank in the town. 
Persons bearing the title of miko or hiniha wore black paint on one 
side of the face and red on the other, coloring either the whole face or 
only the space around the eyes. Tlie second pattern belonged to 
ordinary initiated men having the title tasMya and consisted of four 
strijies, from the cheek-bone to the angle of the jaw, alternating in 
red and 3-ellow." " 

« Speck in Mem. Am. Anthrop. Assn., vol. n, p. 114. 


It hapjiens that the very town, Tuskegee, from which Speck 
dorivcnl this information, was the one where I learned about face 
paintings used to distinguisli citizens of different towns." Possibly, 
therefore, this data contains a reference to some custom not clearly 
remembered. As we shall see when we come to treat of war customs, 
the design said to bo worn by a Tuskegee miko was almost identical 
with that assumed by members of a war party, wliile war honors, 
which of course carried rank with them, were perpetuated by means 
of tattooings.'^ 

Regarding the town council Hawkins has the following to say: 

"The Micco, counsellors [i. e., isti atcagagi] and warriors meet 
every day, in the public square; sit and drink a-cee, a strong decoc- 
tion of the cassine yupon, called by the traders, black drink; talk of 
news, the pubhc and domestic concerns, smoke their pipes, and play 
Thla-chal-litch-cau, (roU the bullet.) ""* Here all complaints are in- 
troduced, attended to, and redressed. They have a regular cere- 
mony for making, as well as dehvering the a-cee, to all who attend 
the square." ^° 

These meetings began early in the morning. Elsewhere we learn 
that the care of the asi was the prerogative of the henihalgi.'^' Zach- 
ariah Cook states that the asi was merely taken into the mouth, not 
swallowed, but this represents the institution in its dechne. At an 
earher day it was swallowed, but ejected afterwards. The leading 
men sometimes coimseUed on the open square and sometimes in the 
big house, in the latter especially on matters requiring secrecy. 
From thence, at the time of the busk, instructions were sent out for 
the clans or clan groups to gather in councils and these were held at 
different places about the grounds. The clan councils have been 
referred to in discussing the clan system. At the great council of the 
town leadere and at the smaller councils lectures on conduct were 
delivered, the doings of the preceding year reviewed, and future 
prospects outhned. Each clan council was usually presided over 
by the oldest pawa, or "uncle," belonging to it, or at any rate the 
one most esteemed, and he lectm'ed the members of his clan in the 
same way. If any of the younger members of this clan had deserved 
a reprimand he would dehver it, and he was often requested so to do. 

In a previous discussion of the evolution of the Creek confederacy 
the important part played by the towns of Kasihta and Coweta has 
been pointed out, and their social significance as leaders of two sets 
of to\\Tis whose relations were governed by certain laws, or, rather, 
precedents. The towns drawn into the confederation were also 
divided in another way, viz, geographically, into two groups which 

" See p. 240. " Hawkins in Oa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 71. 

I' See p. 436. " See p. 293. 

" The game described on pp. 469-470. 


came to be known to the white people as Upper and Lower Creeks. 
While the confederation appeare to have originated with the Lower 
Creek towns Kasihta and Coweta, the Upper Creeks were more 
numerous and naturally demanded recognition. One of the largest 
and most powerful Upper Creek towns was Tukabahchee, which 
earl}- entered upon terms of friendship with Coweta and soon came 
to be considered as the head war town of the Ujiper Creeks. To 
complete the mythic nimiber four and to include a White town from 
among the LTpper Creeks, Abihka was added to these," and the 
four M^ere regarded as the "foundation to-mis" of the confederacy, 
Coweta and Kasihta being, respectively, the head war and peace 
towns of the Lower Creeks and Tukabahchee and Abihka the head 
war and peace towns of the Upper Creeks. There is said to have 
been a great deal of social rivalry between them. Each of these 
four towns also had a ceremonial title. Coweta was called Coweta 
mahma'yagi, "tall or high Coweta;" Kasihta, Kasihta lako, "Big 
Kasihta;" Tukabahchee, Tukabahchee spokogi; and Abihka, Abihka 
nagi. The meaning of the Abihka title is unknown, but since Abihka 
was the frontier town against the Cherokee and Chickasaw, its people 
were also called "the door shutters." For, as Jackson Lewis ex- 
plained, enemies encountered them first, and if they were conquered 
it was as if the enemy had opened the gates to enter the Creek 
country. Several different interpretations are given of the name 
Spokogi or Ispokogi. According to Jackson Lewis, it signified that 
Tukabahchee had an oversight of and care for the other towns much 
as a hen broods over her chickens. Another informant said that it 
meant "a great people," and a third "to hold everything strongly." 
It appears to have been given particularly to the beings who came 
to the Tukabahchee Indians from the world above (see p. 65). 
According to one story, the sacred copper and brass plates of the Tu- 
kabahchee were also sent down from above and given to the Shawnee 
who handed them over to the Ispokogi. This particular tradition 
perhaps furnishes a clue to the name, which may have been derived 
from that band of Sha^vnee known as Kispokoke. I shall show 
elsewhere that there is some reason to think the name Muskogee 
itself is of Shawnee origin, and there is as much reason to attribute 
this word to the same source. It may have been allowed to or con- 
ferred upon the Tukabahchee in ways common among Indians by 
the Kispokoke band of Shawnee and its origin afterwards forgotten. 
In the rating of the four capital towns Abihka is always last, but 
the position of the other thi'ee appears to have changed from time to 
time. To-day Upper Creeks will generally tell you that Tukabahchee 

** The Indian agent Mitchell gave the name of the fourth town as "Oscoochee," but this can not be 
identified with any known Creek town. It may have been intended for Abihkutci. (See Trans. Am. 
Antiq. Soc, vol. D, p. 95.) 


stands first and Lower Creeks will assign the place of honor to Coweta. 
Tukaljuhchoe is certainly first in size and first in the regard in which 
it is hold by those who keep to the old customs, but if one goes back 
into the earlier history of the Creeks as revealed in documents it 
becomes plain that Coweta was regarded as leader. Its chief was at 
one time honored by the Whites with the title of "emperor" and the 
name Coweta was extended over all of the Lower Creeks." 

A French writer gives the following picture of the Coweta chief at 
the period of the Yamasee war (1715) , though it is unlikely that he had 
as much to do with the inception of that contest as is represented : 

" The nation of the Caoiiita is ruled by an emperor who in 1714 
[1715] had all the English destroyed, not only all those who were in 
the nation but also those among the Abeca, Talapouches, Alibamons, 
and Cheraqtii. . . . They [the English] made the emperor very great 
presents to regain his friendship and that of his nation. The French 
also give him presents as do the Spaniards, which makes him very 
rich, for the French who go to visit him are served in silver vessels. 
He is a man of good apjiearance and good character. He has many 
slaves who are busied night and day preparing food for those coming 
and going on visits to him. He seldom goes afoot, always having 
horses well caparisoned, as do many of the people of his village. He 
is absolute in the nation (i. e., among the Lower Creeks). He has a 
quantity of cattle and Idlls some of them at times to regale his friends. 
No one has ever been able to make him take the side of any one of the 
European nations which are acquainted with him, for he asserts that 
he wishes to see everyone, to be neutral, and not to espouse any of the 
quarrels which the French, Enghsh, and Spaniards may have with 
one another." ^* 

The headsliip of Coweta became a matter of importance in the 
early part of the nineteenth century when negotiations were inaugu- 
rated by the whites for the removal of the Indians constituting the 
Creek confederacy. The Lower Creeks being much more favorably 
disposed to the plan than those of the Upper towns, white officials 
strove to make as much of the primacy of Coweta as possible. In 
a letter written by Duncan G. Campbell to John C. Calhoun, Secre- 
tary of War, December 18, 1824, he says: 

" This Coweta town is the most extensive and numerous in the 
nation, and claims to be the original town of the whole tribe, and that 
all othere are its branches. In proof of this priority of standing, I 
beg leave to refer you to our journal, which contains a communication 
from the council of the 11th of December, in wliich they say that 
'the first red people that ever visited the whites were from the Coweta 

" The title was given both by English and French. See Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. n, p. 67. The latter 
writer adds, however, that the town chiefs refused to give up their independence and change the ancient 

" French Memoir of 1755, Ms. 


tovm.' The like proof was contained in an observation of the Little 
Prince during the negotiation. In argument, an old treaty was 
referred to, which had been concluded between the Creeks and the 
state of Georgia. Its authenticity was denied, on the ground that 
'no Coweta chief had signed it.' Coweta is on both sides of the 
Chattahoochie; contains Mcintosh, the Little Prince, Tome Tusku- 
muggee; and extends from Broken Arrow to the Cherokee boundary. 
It is worthy of remark, that the treaty of 1821, concluded at the 
Indian Springs, is signed by but two chiefs on the Alabama side of the 
nation. The fact is, that Mcintosh maintains the right of the Coweta 
town alone to dispose of the whole country. It would seem that the 
upper towns conceded this authority, and dreaded its exercise; for 
the utmost consternation was discoverable whenever it was known 
that the commission (the Commissioners) and the Coweta chiefs had 
had an interview.^^ 

A much longer brief for the supremacy of Coweta is given in the 
volume from wliich the above is quoted. This was compiled by 
Joseph Vallence Bevan for the State of Georgia,^" and is in conse- 
quence an ex parte document like the one quoted. On the other hand, 
the speaker for the Tukabahchee chief, the famous Hoboi-hil yahola, 
who represented the sentiments of most of the Upper Creeks, dehvered 
a "talk" to the United States commissioners at Indian Springs, 
Friday, February 11, 1825, opposing some of the claims of Coweta. 
He said in part : 

"We met you at Broken Arrow, and then told you we had no land 
to sell; I then heard of no claims against the nation, nor have I since. 
We have met you here at a very short notice, and do not think that 
the chiefs who are here have any authority to treat. General 
Mcintosh knows that we are bound by our laws, and that what is not 
done in the pubhc square, in general council, is not binding on the 
nation. I am, therefore, under the necessity of repeating the same 
answer as given at Broken Arrow, that we have no land to sell. I 
know that there are but few from the upper towns here, and many 
are absent from the lower towns. 

" General Mcintosh knows that no part of the land can be sold 
without a full council, and without the consent of all the nation; 
and, if a part of the nation choose to leave the country, they can not 
sell the land they have, but it belongs to the nation. From what you 
told us yesterday, I am induced to beheve that it may be best for us 
to remove, but we must have time to think of it; and, should the 
chiefs who are here sell the land now, it might create dissentions 
and iU blood among the Indians. I have received a message from my 
head chief, the Big Warrior, directing me to hsten to what the com- 

" Am. State Papers, Ind. Afl., vol. n, p. 575. •» Ibid., p. 786. 


missioners have to say; to meet tlicm friendly, and \r,ivt in tlic same 
way, but not to sell the land."" 

It is noteworthy that Hoboi-hil yahola does not deny the headship 
of Coweta; he merely denies that Coweta had the right to dispose of 
Creek territory, holding that such a right was vested solely m the full 
council of the confederacy. 

But if we explore still farther into the past, by means of native 
traditions, we find priority claimetl by Kasihta, and in fact I believe 
Kasihta to have been originally the leading town. This would 
receive abundant confirmation if, as I have supposed, KasUita was 
the ancient Cofitachequi. There is some reason to think that the 
foundation of the confederacy had been laid in De Soto's time, the 
principal parties to the alliance being Cofitachequi (Kasihta) , Coosa, 
and probably Coweta, though this last is not mentioned in the De 
Soto narratives under a recognizable name. The importance which 
we find later attached to Otciapofa was probably inherited in the 
first instance from Coosa and later strengthened by the dictatorship 
of McGillivray. 

One of our sources affirms an ancient headship of Atasi among the 
Tallapoosa towns. It says: 

'' The nation of Talapouches five vmder a republican form of govern- 
ment. There were formerly princes over it whose authority was 
absolute. In many places are to be seen mounds of earth more than 
half a league in length which they conducted from one mountain to 
another. The gi-and chief Uved in the village of the Ataches and bore 
the same name. After the death of the last of these princes there was 
no longer a particular chief in this village, but the war chief commands. 
They say that the [last grand] chief went to the sky to see his rela- 
tives, and that he has assured them that he will return." ^^ 

The only corroboration this receives, and that only by inference, 
is from the wooden figure of a man which Adair states the people of 
this town hatl set up in their square. 

Leadership in the confederacy was evidently due for the most part 
to size, power, and prestige, and its workings were probably based on 
a body of precedent.^' 

Unfortunately no satisfactory study of the organization of the 
confederate Creek council has come down to us, and we must form an 
estimate of it by piecing together information from several sources. 
The most specific statement is f m-nished by Bossu, who says : 

" These peoples (the Creeks) hold a general assembly annuaUy in 
the principal village or the chief place of the nation; there is a great 

»' Am. State Papers, Ind. Aff., vol. ii, p. .';82. 

is French Ms. of 1755. 

" Gallatin, on the authority of Mr. Mitchell and Colonel Hambly, gives "Thicocotcho" as the name of 
"the general seat of government" of the Creeks. This is probably intended for Likatcka, the residence of 
the "Little Prince," at one time head chief of the nation. It was a branch of Coweta. (See Trans. .\m. 
Antiq. See, vol. u, p. 112.) 


cabin made expressly for the purpose; each one places himself there 
in accordance with his rank, and has a right to speak in his turn 
according to his age, his capacity, his wisdom, and the service which 
he has rendered to the fatherland. 

" The Grand Cliief of the ti'ibe opens the session in a speech which 
recounts the history or the tradition of their country; he recalls the 
military exploits of his ancestors who have signalized themselves in 
the defense of the fatherland, exhorting his subjects to imitate their 
virtues, by bearing patiently human wants and miseries, above 
everything in not murmuring at all against the Great Spirit, who is 
master of the life of all the beings here below; and in sustaining adver- 
sities with courage; finally in sacrificing all for love of the fatherland 
and liberty; it being a thousand times more glorious to die hke a true 
man than to live as a vile slave. 

" The chief having stopped speaking, the oldest noble old man 
rises, salutes his sovereign,- and makes a speech, his body bare to the 
belt; the water runs from all parts of his body, on account of the heat 
and the action wliich he puts into his declamation, with natural ges- 
tures and metaphors which express his thought; he persuades his 
hearers to believe all that he says by the force and eloquence of his 
speech. Nothing is more instructive than these assemblies; one 
hears no chatter there, no indecency, no misplaced plaudits, nor im- 
moderate laughter. The young people are very circumspect there, 
and attentive to listen with respect to the words of the old men, 
persuaded that it is for their good.""" 

Other evidence contradicts the statement that there was any one 
capital of the nation, and we know that the council house was nothing 
more than the tcokofa of the town in which the assembly happened 
to take place. Nevertheless Coweta and Tukabahchee, particularly 
the former, seem to have been favorite meeting places, facts indicated 
by Milfort in several places. The following description by him has 
particular reference to an assembly in Coweta: 

"The assemblies of the nation usually take place in the principal 
town. In the center of this town is outlined a perfect and very 
extensive square; in each angle of this square are constructed thi-ee 
cabins of different sizes, forming in all twelve cabins. This square 
has four openings by which its center may be reached, and all of the 
cabins are so close together that from one of them one can see into 
all of the others. Each of them may hold from forty to sixty persons. 

" That of the grand chief of the nation faces the rising sun, to 
indicate that he ought always to watch over the interests of the 
nation. At one side of this cabin, and in the same angle, is that 
called the grand cabin, where the general assemblies of the nation 
are held. 

" Bossu, N'ouv. Voy., vol. n, pp. 70-72. 


[ETH. ANN. 42 

"In the angle opposite are tliree other cabins; these belong to the 
old men, and face the setting sun, to indicate that they are on the 
decline, and that they must no longer march to battle. In the two 
other angles are the cabins of the difTerent chiefs of the nation; they 
are larger or smaller according to the services they have rendered. 

"All these cabins are painted red with the exception of the three 
facing the setting sun, which are always white, sjonbol of virtue and 

" The cabins painted red are, in time of war, ornamented with 
many pieces of wood by way of decoration, which support a kind of 
chain made of wooden rings. This is a sign of sadness, informing 
the warriors that the motherland has need of them, and that they 
must be prepared to march at the first signal. In time of peace 
these links are replaced with garlands of ivy leaves. 

" The thi'ee cabins of the old men are at all times ornamented 
with these garlands, mingled with flowers." 

He adds that the square was very large, and then proceeds as 
follows : 

"I have already said that the chiefs of the nation must assemble 
every year in the month of May, and consider everything of im- 
portance to the nation, both internally and externally. When they 
are all at the rendezvous, called the grand cabin, of which I have 
just spoken, the assembly is called to order; and, when it is called 
to order (formee), none of those who compose it can go out from its 
compass until all of the business of the nation is concluded. The 
president alone may absent himself for some minutes; but he is 
obliged, like all of the others, to pass his days and nights in the 
assembly, and to be present at all of the deliberations. 

" Dm"ing the period of the assembly no one is allowed to approach 
the grand cabin nearer than twenty paces. Only the chiefs of the 
warriors are admitted there; the subordinate cliiefs who are present 
are intended to serve the others, but they have no voice in the de- 
hberations. The women are charged with the duty of preparing 
the necessary food and drink for the assembly; the subordinate 
cliiefs go to fetch the provisions and place them in their turn in the 
grand cabin for the members of the assembly. 

" In the center of the square formed by the cabin, a fire is lighted 
which burns continually. At simset the yoimg people of both sexes 
assemble, and come to dance around this fire until an appointed 
horn*; during this time the assembly separates, and each member 
repairs, if he desires, to the cabin appropriate to the rank which he 
has received; or he remains in the grand cabin, and there enjoys the 
dance and the amusements of the young people; but without being 
allowed to go outside of the compass of the square, so long as the 
business is not entirely concluded. When the dances, which must 


last for a limited time only, are terminated, if the business of the 
assembly is not too urgent, each of the members rests in the cabin 
which belongs to liis class; but as soon as the sun appears above 
the horizon, a drum calls aU of the chiefs to the assembly, which 
remains in session until sunset."* 

In another place ho makes certain amplifications regarding the 
time when such conventions took place. He says : 

'• Tliese asscmbhes, which I have attended for twenty years, are 
held usually at the end of April or the boginnmg of May, as I have 
already said. To them are carried complaints and demands of all 
kinds, where the interests of the entire nation and its allies are dis- 
cussed and regulated. They are held sometimes in the month of 
September, before they separate to go hunting, but then they are 
not general, few interesting things happen, and strangers are rarely 
present." "^ 

Milfort is almost the only wTiter who gives a hint regarding the 
manner in which the chiefs and officials of the various towns were 
seated. It is probable that their individual merit often outweighed 
the numerical importance of the town. 

Speaking in these assemblies was a high art and was, next to 
success in war, the major means of social advancement. Rehgious 
sentiment was attached to it, and before a public speech the Creek 
speaker used to spit four times with deliberation and repeat a formula. 
The oratorical language was fuU of metaphorical allusions, and irony 
and satire were resorted to rather than denunciation. Says Adair: 

"I have heard several eloquent Indian leaders, just as they were 
ready to set off for war, to use as bold metaphors and allegories in 
their speeches — and images almost as full and animating, as the 
eloquent penman of the old tlivine book of Job, even where he is 
painting, with his strong colours, the gladness and contempt of the 
beautiful war-horse, at the near approach of the enemy. I heard one 
of their captains, at the end of his oration for war, tell the warriora 
that stood outermost, he feelingly knew their guns were burning in 
their hands; their tomohawks thirsty to drink the blood of their 
enemy; and their trusty arrows impatient to be on the wing; and, 
lest delay should burn their hearts any longer, he gave them the cool 
refreshing word, 'Join the holy ark, and away to cut off the devoted 
enemy.' They immediately sounded the shrill whoo-whoop, and 
struck up the solemn, awful song, Y6, etc." " 

And in another place: 

"Formerly, at a public meeting of the head-men, and chief orators 
of the Choktah nation, I heard one of their eloquent speakers deliver 

•> Milfort, M6m., pp. 203-208. " Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 64, 

•' Ibiii., pp. 284-285. 

82517°— 28 ^21 


a very pathetic, elaborate, allegorical, tragic oration, in the high 
praise, and for the great loss, of their great, judicious war-chieftain, 
Shv-laf!-hurn-mash-t,a-be, our daring, brave friend, red shoes. The 
orator compared him to the sun, that enlightens and enlivens the 
whole system of created beings: and having carried the metaphor 
to a considerable length, he expiated on the variety of evils, that 
necessarily result from the disappearance and absence of the sun; 
and, with a great deal of judgment, and propriety of expression, he 
concluded his oration with the same trope, with which ho began. " "" 

Stiggins tells us that the confederate coimcil was in reality without 
power. He says: 

"The form of Government under which they live is a tyi'annical 
ohgarchy in its principles and practiced under that head to the full 
extent. At a slight view the most of people suppose and say that 
it is a democracy on republican principles but it is far diffei'ent, for 
all public business whether of a national or private character is done 
by the chiefs. Though the nation is summoned in what is termed 
their grand council, when the state of the nation is supposed to be 
examined into, and their oral laws made, the assembly say not a word 
in the matter. For while in their sittings the assembled body of the 
nation sit as mutes, without being consulted in any manner until a 
few chiefs in theu- council house make the laws for their government 
without condescending to ask an opinion or approbation in any case, 
the national body being merely convened to hear what is done, for 
after a law is digested by the cliiefs the national convention is in- 
formed of its tendency by the orator of the nation in a very exact 
and precise manner, who moreover informs them of all that has been 
transacted, which new law when they are made acquainted with its 
tendency, let it be as it may, they are the most obedient subjects 
imder the sim to the penalties of it, be it oppressive or not. Should 
they infringe the law they will suffer beating, confiscation of their 
property or even death without a murmur or family resentment. 
Moreover, should an Indian be obstreperous in contending for his 
right of property or othenvise or obtrude on the right or even interests 
of a chief, the chiefs can so far tyrannize after a consultation as to 
have him beaten or sl.ain, as a common disturber of the peace, without 
any other imputation of guilt than a law breaker as they term it. 

"In former days in the time of theu- self importance and undis- 
turbed government, before an agent Avas located in the nation by the 
U. S. to improve their morals and reform their customs, their or- 
dained chiefs were more rude, active, and despotic and more frequent 
in their mandates of tjTanny, and not near so uniform and circimi- 
spect in their deportment as now toward the common men. In 
later years the principal cliiefs or great men of the nation have been 

1 Adair, Hist. Am. Icds., p. 11. 



increased to about fifteen in number. Their nomination has been 
approved as such by the agent of the Government and recognized 
as sucli b^- all the tribes. They are invested with power and author- 
ity to superintend the affairs of their national Government with the 
incumbent duties annexed, such as receiving the national salary from 
the agent of the U. S. and paying their public debts, which they 
seemingly do with a national concurrence. For they never imder- 
take or do any important business without a national convention 
when the chiefs deliberate and through their orator inform the 
assembled body of the nation, of what they have determined and 
dismiss them. ""^ 

In speaking of the lesser membei's of the class called mikagi Stigginj 
says farther on: "They attend the appointed national calls only as 
tnutes, for in the national assembly none have a voice but such ns are 
appointed to national purposes.''^" 

Duncan G. Campbell, in liis letter to Jolin C. Calhoun, Secretary of 
War, written December 18, 1824, and cited above, says: 

"Upon the subject of the government of the Greeks, we could not 
acquire information of a definite and satisfactory character. Their 
councd is composed of a great number of chiefs, of various grades of 
authority. The Big Warrior is head chief of the upper towns, and 
Mcintosh of tlae lower; he is also speaker of the nation. The Little 
Prince is liighest in authority, being head cliief of the nation; and has 
been uniformly the friend and adherent of Mcintosh."" 

It is not entirely plain whether the "council" here mentioned was 
the council of chiefs or the general assembly. The "great number of 
chiefs" wouid seem to suggest sometliing more impressive than the 
body of 15 described by Stiggins, but we shall see presently that 
certain economic causes operated to increase the membership of the 
higher assembly v-.ry rapuUy, at least after the removal of the tribe 
beyond the Missiscinpi. 

Valuable additional information regarding the entire government 
of the nation in the early part of the nineteenth century, after it had 
emigrated to the west, is g. 'en us by Hitchcock, who says: 

" The whole Creek Nation is composed of two parties, which were 
designated in the old Nation east of the Mississippi River, as the 
Upper and Lower Towns, sometimes called Upper Creeks and Lower 
Creeks. They are still to a considerable extent distinct. The Upper 
Creeks are principally on the Canadian and the Lower Creeks are on 
the Arkansas. 

" These parties have separate Head Chiefs. At present the Prin- 
cipal Chief of the Lower Creeks is Roly Mcintosh, as Tommarthle 

" stiggins, Ms. Hist. Nair., pp. 13-15. " Am. State Papers, Ind. AS., vol. 11, p. 575. 

" Ibid., p. 15. 


[ETII. ANN. 42 

Micco is of the Upper Creeks. In geiioral council the two principal 
chiefs preside seated by the side of each other; but Roly Mcintosh 
takes the right and is considered the Senior or Head Cliief of the 
Nation. For local purposes, among the Upper Creeks there are 
four Creeks called Counselling Cliiefs, one of whom is called the 
King, and lie transacts tlie current business of the party su])joct to 
the control of the Principal Chief whenever the latter thinks proper 
to interfere, as on important occasions. 

"After these are the Chiefs of the different towns. . . There may 
be forty-five towns, each of which has a Principal Chief or King 
and a sub-chief. In each town there are persons called lawyers, from 
fom- up to 40 or even 45, according to the population, whose duty it 
is to execute the laws. They are subject to the views of the.Head 
Chiefs of the Nation who send them on important missions when 

" The Lower Creeks have two persons in authority called Light 
Horse, who are [of the nature] of Sheriffs [and are employed] for the 
collection of debts with other similar duties and are paid each a salary 
of $150 a year. 

"All of the Chiefs of every grade are permanently in power unless 
they resign or from misconduct are deposed. The mode of filling a 
vacancy is assimilated to an election by the people, but upon recom- 
mendations made by those aheady in power, to which the popular 
voice presents scarcely an obstacle. 

" The general council for business is composed of the two principal 
chiefs and the Kings, including those of the Towns. These constitute 
the aristocratic portion of the government. There is another branch 
composed of one or two persons elected by each town from among the 
lawyers with one judge from the Upper and one from the Lower 
Creeks, which constitute what is called a Committee. This has the 
appearance of a popular branch. Sometimes the number of the 
Committee is increased on important occasions. These are appointed 
by the Kings of the different towns but [selected] from the people. 

"A law generally originates in the Committee. If approved there 
it is sent to the principal chiefs for their approval. If approved by the 
principal chiefs it is a law. But practically the Chiefs make the laws 
and mimake them." ^^ 

By "lawyers" we are evidently to understand leading men conver- 
sant with the customs and usages of their people; probably not 
a fixed class in the community. The "aristocratic portion of the 
government," — the Creek Senate if we might so term it — had thus 
exceeded the body of 15 of Stiggins's time, and in this Hitchcock is 
confirmed by Gregg, whose information was obtained about two years 
earlier and who says: "Their executive consists of two principal 

«« Gen. E. A. Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 



chiefs, and their legislature or council of about forty minor chiefs or 
captains, who are also, ex ofpcio, justices of the peace." ^' 

The economic causes operating to increase the number of chiefs, 
to which reference was made above, are indicated in a communication 
to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs luider date of September 15, 
1851, by Philip H. Raiford, agent of the Creek Indians. He says: 

'■ The rude and irresponsible form of government by chiefs still 
prevails among them. The chiefs all receive salaries in proportion to 
their grade and rank, or, in other words, a larger share of the common 
fund of the tribe than the great mass of the Indians. The result of 
this system has been a great increase in the number of chiefs, until they 
now amount to about eight hundred, or one to every twenty-five souls; 
and, as the moneys due from the Government to the tribe are now paid 
to the chiefs, and they have it in their power to fix their outi salaries, 
a large portion of the funds of the nation is divided out among them- 
selves, and but little left for the gi'eat mass. Great wrong and 
injustice are thus done to the common Indians; and, as they are 
beginning to perceive and become dissatisfied -with the system, and 
the evil continues to increase by the increase of chiefs, the result before 
long will inevitably be serious — internal dissentions and difficulties, if 
not strife and bloodshed, between the chiefs and their partisans on the 
one hand, and the common Indians on the other, unless the Govern- 
ment interposes some remedy for this unfortimate state of affairs." '" 

The word "chief" as employed by Mr. Raiford evidently does not 
refer merely to the class of mikagi. Apparently it included the 
principal mikos, the isti atcagagi, and the leading henihas and 
tastanagis. We are not to suppose that the great increase in the 
number of chiefs of which this agent speaks was due to a desire on 
the part of the chiefs to share their privileges; it was rather for the 
purpose of securing those privileges by taking into partnership all who 
might have been powerful enough to endanger them. Another Indian 
agent, James Logan, writing some years before, in 1845, speaks of the 
abuse as follows: 

" The annuity, amounting to [$]34,500, is paid to the principal chiefs 
of both [Upper and Lower Creeks], and equally divided between 
them, and by them distributed. . .'* The chiefs appropriate the 
whole of this large amount to the pay of themselves and their subor- 
dinates. This mode of distributing it is much complained of by 
the intelligent portion of the community, who are now far from being 
inconsiderable, and the right thus arrogated by the chiefs of doing 
what they please with the annuity much questioned. But they are 
vested with so much power, and have inspired so much awe and fear 

•• Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, in Early Western Travels, vol. 20, p. 315. 

J^ Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1851, p. 122. 

'1 The writer refers here to an unpublished document for confirmation. 


ill tli'^ minds of llio jx'oplo gononilly, that tli(\y aro restrained from 
making a public expression upon the subject. Indeed, I ffucstion 
very much whether there could be found many who would, before 
them, say that they obj(^cted to their acts in any particular. This 
I have sought for in regard to the annuity, and have failed to accom- 
plish, owing to the preponderance of the chiefs and law makers, etc., 
and to the cause above stated. ""- 

The abuse became so great that payments were finally made 
directly to the heads of families and the old privileges of the chiefs 
abolished. They suffered the same fate that betook the ringleaders 
in a certain conspiracy formed not long ago by some of the members 
and employees of a large corporation. In order to keep what was 
going on quiet, it was necessary to let more and more into the ring, 
wliich finally became so large that the secret leaked. The oligarchic 
character of the Creek federal government as revealed by Stiggins 
and these Indian agents clashes rather oddly with what Adair says 
of its democratic character, but evidently the government of the 
confederacy was farther removed from the masses of the people than 
the government of the towns, and with the disappearance of war 
positions came to be held less on account of merit and more because 
of family connection and personal "pull." In the erection of a federal 
government over and above the former tribal governments the mass 
of the people had not succeeded in holding firmly to the reins of 
power; still such great abuses would probably not have arisen had 
it not been for the decline of the merit element in promotions and the 
cupidity excited by United States Government annuities. 

The most complete account of the general council as it existed after 
the removal to Oklahoma was furnished Schoolcraft by Mr. D. W. 
Eakins, whom Schoolcraft describes as "for some time a resident of 
the Territory now occupied by them west of the State of Arkansas." 
These facts were "communicated in reply to printed inquiries issued 
in 1847, respecting the History, Present Condition, and Future 
Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States." 

The answers covering this subject maj' very well be run together. 

" The general council of the Creek Indians consists of a represen- 
tation from the whole tribe, as divided into towns. This council, 
composed of the chiefs, is vested M"ith plenary power, to act for the 
whole tribe. Their verbal summons or decisions, have all the force 
of a written document; these decisions are announced in general 
council; and also recorded by the clerk. Their authority, (as among 
the principal chiefs,) is often assumed. Their authority is delegated 
to them, (in many cases,) by virtue of their standing and influence. 
They are at all times open to popular opinion, and are the mere 

" Beport of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1845, pp. S14-517. 


exponents of it. The power of the chiefs in council is unhmited. 
Their decisions are absolute. 

"The ])rincipal cliiefs are chosen by the general council; and now, 
are not chosen so much for theu' renowTied deeds, as their civil and 
popular qualifications. Their term of office continues during good 
behaNaor. The disapproval of the body of the people is an effective 
bar to the exercise of their powers and functions. 

" The chiefs, in pubhc council, speak the opinions and sentiments 
of the warrioi-s. They consult the priests, old men, and young men 
composing the tribe, in local matters. Sometimes they are subject 
to be influenced by extraneous opinions. In many cases they pursue 
the interests of the people with slirewdness and intensity. In their 
councils, their decisions are generally determined by the opinions of 
the leading chiefs; their dictum generally influences the mass. The 
right to sit in council, is, nominally, equivalent to giving a vote. 
The ayes and noes, if coimted, would be by the clerk. Casting the 
vote, however, has not been introduced among the Creeks. The 
opinions of the leading chiefs generally regulate the decisions of the 
council. Powei-s are sometimes exercised by the chiefs, in advance 
of public o])inion; but anything gross or outrageous would be indig- 
nantly repelled. 

" The pubhc or general councils are opened with a good deal of 
ceremony. The principal chiefs first enter and take their seats. 
The next in order then enter, and addressing themselves to^he whole 
body, ask: 'Are you aU present, my friends?' They then take 
their seats. The principal chief, rising from liis seat, presents to 
the second cliief, his tobacco; and tliis interchange takes place 
throughout the whole assembly. These interchanges having been 
gone tlirough with, they next speak about their domestic affairs. 
Then local matters; after which they proceed to business. Their 
business is conducted irregularly, daily, and generally, by the position 
of the sun. The principal chief adjourns the council to the appointed 
time next day. Before the close of then* dehberations, the two 
bodies agree upon a day of adjournment. At the appointed time 
for adjournment, the two bodies come together. The second cliiefs, 
rising first, address themselves to the first cliiefs, telling them ' they 
are going to leave them.' They then seat themselves, the whole 
council following in regidar order, according to theu- grade. The 
principal chiefs, then rising, say, 'We return home.' There is stiU 
some respect paid to ancient ceremonies. Regard is paid to the 
weather in theu- deliberations. They have two national clerks and 
one United States, and one national interpreter. All questions are 
considered with more or less deliberation. Decisions are sometimes 
made upon the principle of majorities, and sometimes forced by the 
opinions of the leading chiefs. There are no cases that require 
absolute unanimity. There may be cases in which the voice of a 
leading chief might be taken as the will of the tribe. 


" Decisions made by the chiefs in council are carried into efl'ect 
implicitly. In cases of capital punislmient, the executioner is selected 
from a body of men called 'the Light Horse.' He uses neither 
tt)mahawk, club, nor arrow. Tlie gun is generally selected as the 
instrument of execution. If the culprit has no choice of place for 
execution, the executioner may appoint the place, which is generally 
selected with reference to a convenience for burial. In case of the 
restoration of property, a messenger is sent to the parties. There is, 
however, no regularity on this subject. 

" In case of a vacancy by death or otherwise, the office is filled by 
the selection of the General Council. Sometimes the vacancy is 
filled by tlie town to which the chief belonged, and then brought 
before the General Council for sanction. In case of a vacancy among 
the leading chiefs, the vacancy is filled by the General Council. The 
chiefs may be deposed from office for gross outrage." '' 

Logan, the agent quoted above, furnishes the following additional 
information about the Creek government of his time: 

"Each party [i. e., both the L^pper and Lower Creeks] has its own 
head chief, etc. Roly Mcintosh, the cliief of the Lower Towns, is 
also vested with the dignity of head chief of the nation, and he pre- 
sides as such in the general council of the nation, which generally 
convenes once a year, but at no particular period. Its delibera- 
tions are confined to subjects exclusively national, and which afl'ect 
both parties in common. Those subjects having reference to their 
own party concerns meet the action of their own councils, which are 
held separate and distinct, and in which neither interferes with the 
other. They are conducted precisely similar, and are composed of 
the chiefs and law-makers of the different towns (or more properly 
clans) adhering to each party. These chiefs are generally selected 
from the older citizens. In point of intelligence, they cannot compare 
^vith private individuals, who generally do not desire such dignities. 
Generally speaking they are extremely ignorant, are noted for their 
superstitious bigotry, for their old customs and ceremonies, and 
most bitter prejudices against all measures calculated to reform the 
condition or enlighten the minds of their people. There are, how- 
ever, a few honorable exceptions, but they are far in the minority, 
and their councils have but little weight. They are opposed to [the 
Christian] religion and education, more particularly the former, con- 
ceiving very justly that it has a tendency to lessen their authority, 
and to abolish their old rites and ceremonies, of which they are par- 
ticidarly tenacious. They have gone so far this year as to exact a 
fine of from two doUars to thi'ee and a half doUars a head upon all 
non-attendants at their 'busks,' green corn dances, etc., or who do 
not drinl\: the physic, a most nauseous compoimd of poisonous weeds. 
Their authority is often exerted arbitrarily, and their laws are unjust 
and uimecessarily severe. It is a standing law of the nation, ' if any 

" Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, pp. 275-277i 



person preach or hold rehgious meetings, whether white or red, he 
sliall for the first offence receive fifty lashes on his bare back, and for 
the second offence one hundred lashes.' To maintain then* author- 
ity, they support, out of the annuity, an immense number of sub- 
ordinates, kno\vn as law-makers, light horse, etc. The people stand 
in much awe of them, and blindly pay them the obedience they 
exact; they have no voice in their appointment nor in their acts; 
when a vacancy occui-s, the place is filled not by an election, but by 
the nomination made by some noted chief." ^* 

Logan is decidedly too severe in his criticisms of the conservative 
party who were in the natme of things boimd to be opposed to the 
spirit of innovation of which he was a part. While the nature and 
amount of the fines exacted from those who absented themselves 
from the busk were no doubt determined at the council of which he 
speaks, the principle was by no means new. 

The practical effect of the Confederate government on the bulk of 
the people was probably about as indicated in the foUo^\'ing lines 
intended to apply to southern confederacies generally: 

"Every town is independent of another. Their own friendly com- 
pact continues the imion. An obstinate war leader will sometimes 
commit acts of hostility, or make peace for liis own towni, contrary 
to the good hking of the rest of the nation. But a few individuals 
are very cautious of commencing war on small occasions, without 
the general consent of the head men : for should it prove unsuccessful, 
the greater part woukl be apt to punish them as enemies, because 
they abused their power, which they had only to do good to the 

Councils in which all of the towns, or as many of them as chose to 
do so, took part were certainly held at a period as early as an organi- 
zation existed that could be called a Creek confederacy, but they 
seem to have been at irregular intervals and at no determined place. 
And as we have seen, the Lower Creeks and the Upper Creeks each 
had an independent council. It is hkely that, if we could examine 
some of these old councils we should find a certain regular method 
of seating the different chiefs, and a certain procedure, but only the 
above scraps of information regarding them have come down to us. 
In Adair's time we learn that the French at Fort Toulouse in the 
forks of the Alabama River endeavored to foment civil war among 
the Muskogee especially thi'ough the hold they had on the small 
tribes other than Muskogee about then' fort, but the Creek chiefs in 
council compelled them to desist.'^ In the Georgia colonial docu- 
ments we read of a number of coimcils. One of these was represented 
by nine to\\Tis, of which two belonged to the Lower Creeks and seven 
to the L'pper Creeks. Another was attended by ^1 to\vns, of which 
6 were Lower towns and the balance Upper. At a council of Lower 

" James Logan in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs tor 1845, pp. 515-516. 
" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 428. 
'« Ibid., pp. 338-339. 


Creeks 4 towns wore represented. A conference at Savannah was 
attended by 16 Upper Creek towns. At Oglethorpe's first council 
with the Creeks 9 Lower Creek towns were represented and no Upper 
Creek towns. Another council was attended by 12 Upper Creek 
towns, an<l still another by 8 from the same section. There are two 
other notices of meetings held by the Upper Creeks alone and one 
held by the Lower Creeks. This brings out clearly the separation 
existing between the Upper and the Lower Creeks. We also find a 
note to the efTect that the towns of Coweta, Hitchiti, Osochi, " Nipky," 
Chiaha, Kasihta, and Tuskegee had declared Coweta miko their 
chief, a statement which certainly shows the primacy of Coweta 
among the Lower Creeks. The Tuskegee, or part of them, were 
probably with the Lower Creeks at that time.'^ Two of these coun- 
cils of which we have a record were held in Tulsa, one in Okchai, one 
in Apalachicola, and one in Chiaha. Whether accidentally or other- 
wise it thus happens that all but the last were in Wliite towns. 

A Spanish document dating fi-om 1793 or 1794 contains a hst of 
chiefs, with the town to which each belonged, whom it was thought 
advisable to invite to a general conference at Pensacola. This Mst, 
which is as follows, gives an idea of the towns thought worthy of 
representation on such an occasion and in some degree the relative 
importance in which those invited were held : 

Kellessechuppo, or Beard \ ^ ^, „ , . 

^ , . T -4.4.1 r> • fof the Broken Arrow. 

Cowabbe, or Little Frince J 

Hvcat, or Cussitaw King \ , ^, ^ 

Bird Tail King M "^'^ Cussitaws. 

,r T- i 4. ?of the Cowitaws. 

Young Lieutenant I 

Philatouchy lof the point [i. e., Chiaha, Osochi, and 

Cochmans Brother / Okmulgee]. 

George Cousins of the Eauphallies. 

John Kennard and his Uncle of the Hitchetes. 

T, T>I fof the Tuckabatches. 

Beaux Banter ; 

Half Breed of the Ockf uskies. 

McKay's Friend of the Abacouchies. 

Tallessey King [of Tulsa?] 

White King of the Hicklawallies [HoHwahali]. 

Dog Warrior of the Upper Towns. 

Wockucoy King [of Wakokai?]. 

Wiokee King [of Wiwohka?]. 

Mawmouth of the Keyalegies. 

One head man from James Leslie's Town [Natchez?]. 

Bryen Molton or One head man_. from the Tuskeegy. 

TT • • f Little Tallessey s. 

Upoimico J ^ 

Red Shoes [of the Alabama and Koasati?]. 

One head man from the Fussachees. 

One ditto from the Coolamy. 

One ditto from the White Ground. 

One ditto from the Ottosay.™ 

" See Bull. 73, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 210-211. 

" Copy o( Ms. in the Aycr Library, Newberry Library, Chicago. 



Writing in 1791, Swan says: 

" Tho most influontial chiefs of the country, either in peace or war, 
are the Hollowing King, of tho Cowetas; the WHiite Lieutenant, of 
the Oakfuskies; the Mad Dog King, of the Tuckabatchees ; the old 
Tallassie King 0])ilth-Mico, of the Half -way House at Big TaUassie; 
the Dog Warrior, of the Natchez; and Old Iled-shoe, King of the 
Alabamas and Coosades. A treaty made with tho before-named 
chiefs would, probably, be communicated to all the people of the 
country, and be believed and relied upon." ^^ 

It is worthy of note that the Coweta chief is the only Lower Creek 
chief mentioned, the inference being that through the personal force 
of tlais man or the preponderating influence of his tovni aU of the other 
Lower Creek towns could be controlled. Of the five Upper Creek 
chiefs only one, the chief of Tukabahchee, represents a Red town, 
or a towai that belonged to the lied side at that time; two, the Okfus- 
kee and Big Tulsa chiefs, represent the old Coosa element, and two, 
the Natchez and Alabama chiefs, the non-Muskogee element. It 
is ])robable, however, that the Dog Warrior of the Natchez repre- 
sented equally his own peoj)le and the Abihka. All the Upper Creek 
towns having any pretensions to leadership are thus represented 
exce})t Otciapofa and the omission of this is at once explained when 
we remember that it was the town of Alexander McGillivray, at 
that time unofficial dictator of the entire nation. Swan assumes his 
coo])eration without specific mention. 

The Creek organization in the eighteenth century would appear 
from this information to have been about in the same condition as 
it was in the early part of the nineteenth — a loose confederation led 
by from two to four towns and holding irregular councils, the difl^erent 
sections of the nation often counselling apart, comparative absence 
of internal warfare and continuous but rarely unified warfare against 
neighbors. Regarding the latter point it is interesting to note that 
in the Creek-Anierican war of 1813 not only did the Lower Creeks 
actively assist the whites, but a large number of Upper Creek towns 
refused to have anything to do with the hostiles. Among these were 
Abihka, Natchez, Tukabahchee and some of her allies, Kealedji, 
and, in the beginning at least, Latogalga and Upper Eufaula. Hihbi 
remained neutral as weU but was attacked without warrant by an 
army of whites and severely handled. 

It is to be observed, however, that a considerable change took place 
both internally and externally after white contact tending to increase 
the power and importance of the confederacy much beyond its 
primitive condition. Thus, in De Soto's time the Kasihta and Coosa, 
the representatives of the Lf)wer and Upper Creeks, were noteworthy 
and powerful tribes but only to a certain extent superior to many 

'» Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. V, p. 263, 


others, such as the Utina, Potano, and Aj^alacheo of Florida, and 
the Chiaha, Tah, Mobile, and many more farther north. It is even 
uncertain whetlmr at that date any sort of confederacy existed. As 
time went on, however, the Florida tribes were destroyed or scattered, 
and the same fate overtook the Yamasee, the Indians of the Georgia 
coast, and the smaller tribes in the neighborhood of South Carolina. 
This served to increase the power of the Creeks proper, both by 
weakening that of their neighbors and by causing many fugitive 
tri])es to imite with them and add to their fighting force. Leaving 
out of consideration the Hitchiti, illabama, Koasati, and Tuskegee, 
who were incorporated almost before the da\vn of clear history, we 
have very exact information of the incorj^oration of the Yuchi, 
which had formerly been an independent and hostile tribe, of part 
of the Shawnee, and of the remnant of the Natchez. This system of 
adoption resulted in the strengthening of the confederacy about in 
proportion to the weakening of its neighbors, imtil finally but one 
tribe remained, the Choctaw, able to contend with it on anything like 
equal terms. This latter, it is to be noted, owed its strength not so 
much to incorporation of fugitive elements as to a location where it 
was for a long time protected against European encroacliment, 
intensive cultivation of the soil, and an unwarlike disposition — aU 
contributing to a steadily momiting popidation. The Choctaw 
government was very feebly centralized for the same reason until 
very late times when it was much strengthened as a result of constant 
attacks on the part of Chickasaw and Ci'eek enemies. The Creeks, 
on the other hand, had adopted their federal imion very early, 
probably in part as the result of pressure from without, and as tliis 
pressure was increased by the approach of white settlements the sense 
of danger tended to accelerate the centralization. It thus happened 
that in the last quarter of the eighteenth century conditions were 
ripe for the evolution of a still more closely knit state, and merely 
awaited the advent of the man who could bring it about. And such 
a man appeared. 

A critical life of Alexander McGillivray woidd be a distinct con- 
tribution to southern history, but it is not germane to om* purpose. 
Doubtless much that has been written regarding him is inaccm-ate 
and I do not vouch for all the facts given in the following account 
by Swan, but of the revolution he accomplished in Creek govern- 
ment there can be no doubt. Swan says that his title was Steu- 
tsa'cco-Cho'ota'wliich is evidently a very bad attempt at isti atcagagi 
lako, "great honored or beloved man." '*" He goes on: 

" The present great beloved man, who left Georgia in disgust 
about the year 1776, and attached himself to the upper Creeks, 

'"His Indian name, however, is given by Pope as " Hippo ilk Meco, or the good Child King." Incorrect 
Creek this would be Hoboi-hili miko, but there is reason to think that McGillivray did not belong to a 
clan which would entitle him to be called miko. 



where he was born, by the advice of his father immcdiatel}^ set 
about placing liimself at the head of the nation. His kindred and 
family connexion in the country, and his evident abilities, soon 
gave him such inliuence among them that the British made liini their 
commissary, with the rank and pay of Lieutenant- Colonel, under 
Colonel Brown, then superintendent. 

'■-\fter the English had abandoned the nation, in 17S2, this be- 
loved man found it necessary, in order to carry on the war with 
success against the Georgians, to imdertake a reform in the policy 
of the nation, which had for a long time been divided by faction. 

"He effected a total revolution in one of their most ancient cus- 
toms, by placing tlie warriors in all cases over the micos or kings, 
who, though not active as warriors, were always considered as im- 
portant counsellors. The micos resisted this measiu-e for some 
time; and the struggle became at last so serious, that the beloved 
chief had one Sullivan and two others, partizans of the micos, put 
to death in the public squares. They were all three white men who 
had imdcrtaken to lead tlie faction against him; but he finally crushed 
the insm-gents, and effected his purposes. 

" The spirit of opposition still remained against liim in the old 
Tallassie king, Opilth Mico, who, witli his clan, pronounced M'Gilli- 
vraj' a boy and an usm-per, taking steps that must be derogatory to 
his family and consequence. ^Vnd under these circumstances he 
undertook to treat separately with the Georgians. The conse- 
quences were, his houses were burnt in his absence, and liis corn and 
cattle destroyed. Notwithstanding, he remained refractory for a 
long time, as well as some of the most important of the lower to\\'ns, 
until, finding the Georgians aimed at them indiscriminately, and a 
Mr. Alexander had killed twelve of their real friends (the Cussu- 
tahs), they dropped their internal disputes, and united all their 
efforts, under tlie great chief, against the frontiers."*' 

Swan adds some interesting particulars regarding the means re- 
sorted to by McGillivray to secure his authority. He kept tlie sev- 
eral towns in obedience by threatening to remove the white traders 
from among them. He encouraged the presentation of complaints 
by all parties but put off judgment so long that the parties usually 
settled the matter between themselves, thereby relieving liim of the 
necessity of delivering a verdict unfavorable to one of them and 
attracting personal enmit}^ in consequence. Another device, as old 
as t}Tanny, was to collect about himself a body of retainers. Swan 

" Some young men of his relations, and several active warriors 
Uving about Little Tallassie, whom the chief keeps continually 
attached to him by frequent and profuse presents, serve him as a 

8' Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 281. 


kind of watch, and often in the capacity of constables — pursue, take 
up, and punisli, such characters as he may direct; and on some 
occasions have acted as executioners. 

"It is a maxim of his pohcy to give protection to outhiws, debtors, 
thieves, and murderers from all parts of the country, who have fled 
in great numbers from the hands of justice, and found an asylum 
in the Creek nation. The whites living among the Indians (with 
very few exceptions), are the most abandoned wretches that can be 
found, perhaps, on this side of Botany Bay; there is scarcely a crime 
but some of them has been guilty of. Most of the traders and aU 
their liii-elings and pack-horse-men, are of the above description."*^ 

McGillivray's father, Laclilan McGillivray, was a Scotclunan 
loyal to the crown, and from liim and his sojourn among the whites 
Alexander had gained sufficient astuteness to know how to deal with 
the colonists, along with a prejudice against their cause. His gov- 
ernment, it will be seen, resembled rather a Greek tyranny than the 
military democracy to which Swan likens it. It must be added, 
however, that McGillivray's power was due rather to his shrewdness 
and his understanding of the Indian mind than to the exercise of 
autocratic authority, though, as we have seen, he could use the iron 
glove on occasion. McGUlivray belonged to the Wind clan,*^ and 
although this clan held an exalted positjon in the tribe, none of 
the officials of Otciapofa, his proper town and that wliich he made 
his capital, were Wind people. This explains in part his adoption 
oi the term " great beloved man," one which could be held by a mem- 
ber of any clan. The government as I have described it also explains 
the appellation of "grand chief" which Milfort applies to A^cGilli- 
Tray.*'' Milfort was probably one of those outsiders whom McGiUi- 
vray gathered about him. That he was made a tastanagi is probable, 
but, as has been stated above, the name did not carry the significance 
which Milfort attaches to it of "head war chief" of the nation. 

Milfort and Pope both confirm Swan's statement regarding the 
internal revolution effected by McGillivray, except that where the 
former says "nation" we must substitute "town," or "towns." 
His words are : 

" The Tastanegy or grand war cliief formerly had no part in the 
internal administration, his authoritj^ lasted only as long as the war: 
but now, he is the first civil as well as the fii'st military chief of the 
nation." " 

Says Pope. 

"M'Gillivray who is perpetual dictator, in Time of War sub- 
delegates a Nmnber of Chieftains for the Direction of all military 

" Swan In Schoolcratt, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 282. 

»» Milfort, Mom., p. 323; Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 269. 

** Ibid., pp. 40-41 et scq. 

" Milfort, op. cit., p. 237. 



Operations; and when the War concludes, they, in Compensation 
for their martial Achievements, are invested by the Dictator with 
civil Authority which supersedes the hereditary Powers of their 
Demi-Kings." ** 

It is hardly likely that the Indians would have suffered a violent 
injection of outside officials into their local governments, and it is 
therefore probable that the men elevated to positions of control in 
tliis manner were the " big warriors " (tastanagi lako) in their respec- 
tive towns. During a period of almost perpetual war the influence 
of the war leaders was certain to be enhanced in any event; McGilli- 
vray simply took advantage of this and continued their war powers 
into times of peace. 

After McGillivray's death, February 17, 1793, no man appeared of 
sufficient force and tact to take his place and the government seems 
to have slipped back, at least in part, into the ancient channels. 

Some hints have already been given regarding this government, 
particularly its council of chiefs and national assembly, as well as 
the leadership of certain to^vns. The primacy of Coweta/' both 
over the Lower Creek towns and over the whole nation, appears to 
have been reasserted, Tukabahchoe assuming the headship of the 
Upper Creeks and the secondary position in the confederacy. 

A few years after the death of McGillivray, Benjamin Hawkins, 
United States agent in charge of the southern Indians, attempted to 
introduce certain innovations into the Creek government, and indeed 
he asserts that before the adoption of his plan they had been without 
a national government of any sort. In the light of other facts such a 
sweeping statement can not be accepted. His innovations merely 
tended to make systematic and stable an authority which had before 
been relatively loose and casual. He thus recoimts the results of his 
efforts : 

"At a meeting of the national council, convened by oraer of the 
agent for Indian affairs [i. e., Hawkins himself], at Tookaubatche, 
the 27th November, 1799, the chiefs, after a long and solemn delibera- 
tion, on the affairs of the nation, which were laid before them by the 
agent for Indian affairs, came to a resolution to adopt the plan of the 
agent, ''to class all the towns, and to appoint a warrior over each 
class, denominated the warrior of the nation." 

"The towns thus classed, with the warriors for the nation, are: 

" 1st. Hook-choie, We-wo-cau, Puc-cun-tal-lau-has-see, 0-pil- 
thuluc-co and Thlot-lo-gul-gau. For these five towns they ap- 
pointed Sim-mo-me-jee [" Doing-it-for-them "] of Wewocau. 

" Pope, Tour, p. 65. 

•' In the American State Papers flridian Affairs, vol. n, p. 786) is a long historical account of the rela- 
tions between the whites and the Creek Indians, compiled by Joseph Vallence Bevan for the State of 
Georgia. His object is to show that the sanction of Coweta to a treaty ceding land rendered the treaty 
valid, and this prejudiced viewpoint must be allowed for, although, as we have seen, the primacy of 
Coweta among Creek towns at one period was certainly a fact. 


'"2(\. Ki-a-li-jcc aiul Eu-1'au-lau. For tlicso two towns, thc_y ap- 
pointed E-maut-lau Hut-ke. 

"3cl. Ilill-au-beo, Woc-co-coie and Pochiisehatche. For these 
three towns tliey appointed Cussetuli Tus-tun-nug-gee, of Ilill-au- 
bee, and Thie-chum-me Tustunnigge [''Lidjami Tastanagi], of Woc- 

"4th. Au-bee-coo-che, Nau-che, Coosau and Eii-fan-hiii-hat-che. 
For these four towns, they appointed Olohtau Haujo [Holahta 

" 5th. Ho-ith-le-waii-le, Eciinhutke, Sauvanogee, Mook-hiu-sau 
and Took-au-bat-che. For these five towTis, tliey appointed 0-poie 
E-maut-hxu [Ilobayi Imala], of Ho-ith-le-waide. . . . 

"6th. Oc-fus-kee and its villages, Sooc-he-ah, New-yau-cau, Im- 
mook-fau, Took-au-bat-che Tal-lau-has-see, Took-to-cau-gee, Au- 
che-nau-ulgau, Oc-fus-coo-che, and E-pe-sau-gee. For this town 
and its vilhiges, they appointed Hopoie Tus-tun-nug-gee, of Oc-fus- 
kee, and Tal-lo-wau-thlucco Tus-tim-nug-gee. 

"7th. 0-che-au-po-fau and Tus-kee-gee. For these two towns, 
they appointed Ho-po-ithle Ho-poie. 

"8th. Tal-e-see, Aut-tos-see, Foose-hat-che and Coo-loo-me. For 
these four towns, they appointed Foose-hat-che Tus-tun-nug-gee, of 
Tal-e-see, and Eu-fau-lau Tus-tun-nug-gee, of Foose-hat-che. 

"9th. Hook-choie-oo-che, Coo-sau-dee, E-cun-cha-te, Too-wos-sau, 
Pau-woc-te, and At-tau-gee. For these to\vns and villages, they 
appointed Ho-ith-le-poie Hau-jo and Tus-tun-nuc, of Hook-choie-oo- 
che." «» 

To what extent this plan of government was put in force seems 
uncertain, but the primacy of Coweta and Tukabahchee continued, 
as is shown by numerous statements in the documents of the first half 
of the nineteenth century. We learn that in 1814 the "Little Prince" 
was head chief of the entire nation — though one writer refers to him 
as " the chief speaker." He belonged to f^ikatcka, which, as we have 
seen, was a branch of Coweta. At the same time we are told that 
Tastanagi lako, the "Big Warrior," a Tukabahchee, was "speaker for 
the Upper Creeks," Tastanagi hopai speaker for the Lower Creeks, 
and William Mcintosh head chief of Coweta. ^^ From what Hodgson 
says it is evident that in 1820 the Little Prince and the Big Warrior 
occupied the same positions, although they are both called " Chief 
Speakers of the Nation" as if their authority were coordinate. 
Hodgson adds, "The most popular and influential person, however, 
in the Nation, is Mackintosh, the Head Warrior, a half-breed, under 
forty years of age; who is consulted on every occasion, and who, in a 
great measm-e, directs the affairs of his country." '" 

" Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. in, pp. 51-62. 
»» Am. State Papers, Ind. Afl., vol. ii, pp. .571, 575. 

" Hodgson, Jour., p. 267. In one place (Am. State Papers, Ind. All., vol. ii, p. 571) Mcintosh is called 
"Speaker of the Xation." 


In a later document four chiefs are mentioned as having made 
a reply to the United States Commissioners at Likatcka, on December 
11, 1S24, "Little Prmce, O. Porthle Yoholo (Speaker of the Upper 
Creeks), William Mcintosh (S})eaker of the Nation), and Hopoy 
Hadgo." ^' In a letter written seven days after tliis, by Dtmcan G. 
CamjibeU to John C. CaUiomi, then Secretary of War, Little Prince is 
referred to as the head of tlie nation, -while the Big Warrior is called head 
chief of the Upper towns and Mcintosh head chief of the Lower towns 
and also Speaker of the Nation.^^ The somewhat perplexing state- 
ments are reconciled when we imderstand that Little Prince was head 
chief of the entire nation by virtue of the fact that he was head of the 
Coweta group of towns, although actually he was premier chief onl_y of 
the branch town of Likatcka. Mcintosh was chief of Coweta itself 
and also held the position of speaker for Little Prince, having ap- 
parently succeeded a man named Tastanagi hobayi, and because Little 
Prmce was head cliief of the Lower Creeks and premier chief of the 
nation Mcintosh is also called "Speaker of the Nation." A formal 
error is probably made by Campbell in referring to him as " head cliief 
of the Lower towns," wliile the nomenclature employed by Hodgson 
is inexact owing to the temporary nature of his visit among the Creeks. 
That Hodgson does not mean by "cliief speakers" those who made 
amiouncements is sllo^vn by liis explanation immediately foUoAving: 
" The Chief Speakers are by no means necessarily the principal 
orators, but may employ a fluent Chief to convey their sentiments. 
Their ofhce is to carry into efi'ect the decisions of the Great Coimcil 
of the Nation; a deliberative body, composed of chiefs from the 
different towns." ^^ It seems plain, in short, that during this period 
the Little Prince of Likatcka was head chief of the Lower Creeks and 
of the nation, wliile the Big Warrior was head cliief of the Upper 
Creeks. Mcintosh appears to have been chief of Coweta in 1814 and 
to have risen to the position of speaker of the nation by 1824 — that is, 
speaker for the Little Prince. Hoboi-liili yahola had risen to the 
position of speaker of the Upper Creeks by 1824. It seems evident 
that by this time all of the Upper towns recognized a head chief and 
all of the Lower towns another and that the latter enjoyed a primacy 
over the former, and that each of those had an assistant called 
a "speaker" who was a man of influence. After the removal there 
was a principal and second chief over all the towns and a principal 
and second chief for each of the two divisions. '* 

According to one of my informants the head chief of the Upper 
Creeks was elected bj- 30 men chosen from the towns of Tukabahchee, 
Kealedji, Atasi, and Hatci tcaba — i. e., from the Upper Creek towns 

•I Am. State Papers, Ind. Aff., vol. n, p. 571. »> Hodgson, Jour., p. 267. 

" Ibid., p. 575. •• Eakins in Schoolcraft, vol, i, pp. 271-275. 

82517°— 28 22 


of the Tukabahcheo group. This statement remains unsubstantiated. 
The same man also stated that the Lower Creeks had two chiefs, 
"one governing on each side of any stream, " but this would seem to 
refer to the chiefs of the Kasihta and Coweta, the lands of which were 
separated by the Chattahoochee River. 

Writing in 1839, when the removal to the west was not completed, 
Farnham says: 

" The civil government of this tribe is less perfect than that of the 
Cherokces. There are two bands; the one under Mcintosh, and 
the other under Little Doctor. That led by the former, brought with 
them from their old home written laws which they enforce as the 
laws of their band. That under the latter, made written laws after 
their arrival. Each party holds a general council. The members of 
each are hereditary chiefs, and a class of men called councillors. 
Each of these great bands is divided into lesser ones; which severally 
may hold courts, try civil and criminal causes, sentence, and execute, 
&c. Laws, however, are made by the general councils only; and it is 
becoming customary to entertain trials of cases before these bodies, 
and to detail some of their members for executioners. The legis- 
lative, judicial, and executive departments of their government are 
thus becoming strangely united in one. " °** 

Eakins says "every hundred persons has a right to elect a chief, 
who represents them in general council." °^ 

From the time of their emigration until after the Civil War the 
Lower and Upper Creeks remained aloof from each other. Roly 
Mcintosh,"" first chief of the former division in the west, was suc- 
ceeded by Moty Kennard, and when the latter died his second chief, 
Yakinha miko, took his place. Tukabahchee miko, often spoken of 
as chief of the Upper Creeks, was in reality their principal medicine 
maker. His fields were cared for by the people of Tukabahchee and 
he was allowed a salary of SSOO from the Creek treasury. In 1842-43 
the Upi)er Creek chief was Tamali miko.'^" When the Creek con- 
stitution was adopted Itco hadjo miko occupied the position. 

As is well known the Creeks split into two factions on the outbreak 
of the Civil War and became pretty thoroughly demoralized. After 
it was ended a great council was held near Okmulgee, a constitution 
was adopted and a new government set up, modeled to some extent on 
that of the United States. There were two deliberative and legis- 
lative bodies called the House of Kings and the House of Warriors 
chosen from the different districts and two head chiefs, a first and a 
second, elected every four years by the entire nation. He who 
received the highest number of votes was made first chief and he 

"» Farnham's Travels, in Early Western Travels, vol. xxvni, pp. 129-130. 
•• Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 275. 

»' It appears from a writer in Schoolcraft (Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 267) that the second chief ot the Lower 
Creeks under Mcintosh was Benjamin Marshall. 
"" See pp. 315-316; Stanley in Smithson. Misc. Colls., no. 53, p. 12. 




who received the next liighest second chief, no matter whether the 
two so chosen had run upon the same ticket or not. 

The following first and second chiefs were elected after the adop- 
tion of this constitution: 


Samuel Chicote of Sawokli (served 

three or four terms) . 
Lotca hadjo of Abihkutci (or Nuyaka) 

(served three months and was then 

impeached) . 
Ward Coachman (filled out the rest 

of the term) . 
Joseph M. Ferryman, of Okmulgee 

(one t^rm). 
Legus Ferryman of Okmulgee (two 

terms) . 
Ispahihtca of Kasihta (one term). 
Pleasant Forter of Okmulgee (one com- 
plete term and part of a second term) . 
Moty Tiger (completes term) . 


Itco hadjo miko.^' 

Ward Coachman, of Alabama. 

(Left vacant.) 

(Uncertain.) '* 

Hotalgi imala of Okchai. 

Roly Mcintosh of Tuskegee. 
Moty Tiger of Tukabahcee. 

(Left vacant.) 

Pleasant Porter was the last chief regularly elected. Moty Tiger 
was succeeded by the late G. W. Grayson, of Coweta, mentioned so 
often in this report, who was appointed by President Wilson. Air. 
Grayson died in office and his son Washington Grayson was appointed 
his successor. When he resigned the position was conferred upon 
George HOI, of Tulsa Canadian. 

The chiefs elected after the adoption of the constitution were not 
necessarily heads of the to\vns from which they came, and it is said 
of Tukabalichee miko, before that time, tliat he was transferred by 
special agreement from the Chiefs' bed at Tukabahchee to that of the 
Warriors because he could not be withheld from making addresses, 
and the delivering of addresses on the part of the town chief himself 
was contrary to custom. Itco hadjo miko was a tastanagi or an 
imala, vSamuel Chicote was only a tasikaya, Hotalgi imala was a great 
war speaker (holibonaia) and also an imala, and Moty Tiger a 
tastanagi. Miko hatki, given by Cook as second chief under Chicote, 
was, however, chief of his towii, Tulsa. It is worthy of note that 
the ablest leaders, after the adoption of the constitution, were from 
the non-Muskogee towns, Ward Coachman, of Alabama, Samuel 
Chicote, the Perr^-mans, and Pleasant Porter from the Hitchiti- 
speaking towns, and Roly Mcintosh of Tuskegee. Mr. Mc Combs 
considers the last named, although he did not reach the position of 
head chief, the greatest Creek statesman of his time. He was named 

•^ Mr. McCombs, my authority for the incumbent of this position, was in some doubt about his correct- 
ness and the second chief may have been Miko hatki of Tuisa, as given by Cook. 

" Zachariah Cook thought that Roly Mcintosh was second chief under J. M. Ferryman and Legus 
Ferryman second chief under Ispahihtca, but Mr. McCombs is probably right. 



for the first Holy Mcintosh, who is said to havo conferred the title 
upon him himself, in antici])ation of his future greatness. 

As stated akeady, when the Creek chief was installed an installation 
speech was made to liim by a man of the Bird clan of Otciapofa, who 
instructed him regarding his duties and in general as to what was 
expected of him. 

The duties of sheriffs or constables were discharged by eight, or 
about eight, light horsemen (tcilako ohga'ga), four for the Upper 
Creeks and four for the Lower Creeks. 

The government of the Seminole nation was similar to that of the 
Ci'eek nation proper. They had only two hght horsemen. 

The following general view of the condition of the Creeks in the 
middle of the nineteenth century furnishes an interesting picture of 
them in their western home in the middle period of their dfccline, a 
decline soon afterwards accelerated vastly by the Civil War and now 
brought to completion by their allotment and the practical abolish- 
ment of theu' national government: 

" The Lower Towns, from their closer proximity and greater inter- 
course with the whites, exhibit a much greater advance in civiliza- 
tion and manner than their brethren of the Upper Towns. The old 
custom of settling together compactly and cultivating the town fields 
has been altogether abandoned, and they are no longer visible in this 
portion of the nation; the people are settled promiscuously tlirough- 
out the country; many of their farms and residences would do credit 
to the States. Ornaments, silver plates, ear-rings, beads, and paint, 
are grown into disuse, and seldom or never seen except at their festivals 
or ball plays. The dress of the whites is becoming common, with the 
exception of the hunting shirt, which is generally of gay printed 
calico, and may be conceived cjuite picturesque. It is tenaciously 
adhered to, and is common to aU Indians. Hats, vests, pantaloons, 
and shoes may almost be said to be the common habilaments of the 
males, and dresses of the richest materials of silks and muslins, made, 
too, in accordance with the latest fashions, are often to be seen upon 
the persons of the female classes. Gold and silver watches, rich and 
costly articles of jewelry, viz: chains, rings, brooches, etc., etc., 
are also used by the rich. 

" The English language, though not generally spoken, is imder- 
stood by many; and a strong desire is manifested by the community 
at large to throw off all their old superstitious ways and customs, 
and to adopt the ways of the whites. On the other hand, however, 
it can be said that the number of the indigent and needy is nmch 
greater here in this part of the nation. The use of whiskey, too, 
is more general, and its effects more visible. As before stated, there 
is no town, nor even a village, to be met with, yet the people are 
every year summoned, to their great dissatisfaction, to assist in 



building or repairing the town council houses, etc. ; in many instances, 
to leave their crops and go a distance of 20 or 30 miles; — this service 
is enforced, too, under a penalty of a pecuniary fine. The settlements 
of the Lower Towns extend from the Verdigris river, on it and between 
it and the Ai-kansas, on both banks, to the Ked fork, a distance of 
about eighty miles, and an average breadth of fifty. They are 
separated from the settlements of the Upper Towns by an uninter- 
rupted prairie, extending from the bottoms of the Arkansas, south, to 
those of the north fork of the Canadian, a distance of about forty 
miles ; they [the Upper Towns] extend from there, westward, between 
and on the Deep fork. North fork, and Main Canadian, to Little 
river, a distance of about eighty miles, and an average breadth of 
about sixty. From their peculiar location, they have less intercourse 
with the whites, and consequently do not exhibit so much improve- 
ment. Their dress, too, is more after the aboriginal form; they are 
forbidden to adopt that of the whites under penalty of lashes; they 
are, however, generally speaking, more enterprising and industrious; 
they gi-ow cotton, and practise the domestic arts of sjjinning ami weav- 
ing to a greater extent than the others. Cases of extreme poverty 
are more rarely to be met with. The chiefs are more generous, and 
their pohcy more hberal than those of the Lower Towns. In addition 
to the two blacksmiths' shops, furnished them by treaty stipulations, 
they have a pubhc shop, which is supported out of then- portion of 
the annuity; they have also devoted a portion of it to the ei'ection of 
a water mill, and the support of a millwright; they have also a 
wheelwTight, but he is paid by the government; they have not so 
much wealth as the Lower Town chiefs, generally speaking — (the 
Mcintosh family are supposed to be worth $150,000 and B. Marshall 
some .$50,000) yet tliey contribute nothing towards anything of this 
Icind — alleviating the distresses of the poor, or to affecting any 
improvement in their country; however, it is reported that Opothleyo- 
holo is by far the richest man in the whole nation." °° 

Hitchcock informs us that the Creek laws were compiled, or rather 
digested, in 1826 before the emigration and that an abstract of the 
digest was approved by a general council in 1840. Mr. N. L. Alex- 
ander, the Creek through whom Hitchcock obtained access to these, 
did not think that the fii-st ^vritten laws antedated about the year 1822, 
but Plitchcock himself remarks that the year "1817" was entered 
opposite the law pmiishing mxu'der. He adds: 

"Most of the laws — there are but fcAv altogether — relate to the 
punishment of the most prominent crimes, known as such among 
all men, and the regulation of property rights. They scarcely touch 
upon the ancient customs and usages of the Nation which are for 
the most part left in fuU force. Infanticide was formerly not uncom- 

" James Logan, in Indian Affairs Report, 1&45, pp. 514-517. 


mon; it is prohibited by the written laws. Ai\ attempt was made in 
1840 to abohsh a custom giving to the relations of a husband on his 
death the power of keeping the widow secluded and forbidtling her 
second marriage for a period of four years. They attempted to 
restrict the period to 12 months, but the people would not listen to 
it and the council yielded to the pubhc voice and repealed the law 
in 1841." • 


So many old Creek customs, usages, and laws have become lost 
or obscured that it is difficult to reconstruct the primitive system 
with any certainty from what is remembered at the present day. 
With regard to property it is to be noted that two strong influences 
constantly operated to dilute the sense of individual ownership. 
These influences were the powerful kinship systena and the abundance 
and accessibility of all of those things — or the raw materials of those 
things — necessary in aboriginal life. The value which we attach to 
things is dependent to a very considerable extent on the ease with 
which we can replace them. 

As was usual among primitive people, strangers were provided 
with food and a place to sleep gratis. This might be in the com- 
munity hot house, or, after the clan of the visitor had been revealed, 
in the home of some man married into that clan. Regarding chattels 
we could wish the information from these Indians were more specific. 
Adair "observed with much inward satisfaction the community of 
goods that prevailed among them" but he immediately begins to 
speak of their hospitality in the matter of food and shelter wliich is 
quite a different matter.^ Bartram says: 

"Now, although it appears that these people enjoy all the advan- 
tages of freedom and private property, and have laws, usages, and 
customs, which secure each one his rights according to reason, justice, 
and equality, the whole tribe seems as one family or community, 
and, in fact, all their possessions are in conunon; for they have neither 
locks nor bars to their doors, and there is a common and continual 
intercourse between the families of a tribe; indeed, throughout the 
Confederacy, they seem as one great family, perfectly known and 
acquainted with each other whenever they meet. 

"If one goes to another's house and is in want of any necessary 
that he or she sees, and says, I have need of such a thing, it is regarded 
only as a polite way of asking for it, and the request is forthwith 
granted, without ceremony or emotion; for he knows he is welcome 
to the like generous and friendly return at any time . . ." * 

If Bartram could have examined actual conditions more inti- 
mately he would probably have found that this exchange took place 

1 Hitchcock, Ms. notes. ' Bartram, Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. m, p. 41. 

' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 17. 


almost entirely between members of the same clan or members of 
linked clans or else between individuals connected by marriage. 
It is not to be supposed that we have here a case of real communism 
in chattels. Part of it was nothing more than borrowing, and an- 
other part a borrowing of a different kind in which equivalent values 
wore exchanged instead of identical objects. From my own ex- 
perience with Indians I think it is safe to assume that every family 
was pretty acutely conscious of its credit or debit as regards every 
other family, and that a persistent "sponge" was looked down upon 
and avoided. That there were such "sponges" we know from Stig- 
gins, who says: 

"If it (hospitality) is beneficial in keeping the traveler and stranger 
from hunger and starvation, it keeps a great many of their town 
people of men and women sauntering from door to door in loafing 
idleness; if no one will cloathe them, they are perfectly satisfied for 
every house will feed them."* 

Adair gives an amusing account of the skill with which one Indian 
parried the appeal of another for a certain service.^ The sense of 
individual ownership was by no means wanting; only for the reasons 
above given it did not always appear so keenly developed as with us. 
Social usage had sanctioned a method of exchange comparatively 
unknown to Europeans and had given a definite "set" to the instinct 
of private ownership, not abolished it. Indeed, elsewhere Bartram 
himself says: 

"AU that a man earns by his labor or industry belongs to himself; 
he has the use and disposal of it according to the custom and usages 
of the people. He may clear, settle, and plant as much land as he 
pleases, and wherever he will within the boundaries of liis tribe."' 

Debts, which probably had notliing to do with this social exchange, 
were also recognized. Adair remarks that "when they are able, 
without greater damage to themselves, than benefit to their creditor, 
they discharge their honest debts." And he adds that when dif- 
ferences arose over such matters they were settled by " the head 
Archimagus, and his old beloved men," and that a creditor could 
seize property of the debtor to the amount due him.' Both Creeks 
and Seminole formerty had a high reputation among the white 
people for pimctuality in the payment of their debts.^ In this partic- 
ular civihzation has not worked for their betterment. Writing in the 
middle of the nineteenth century Eakins says of them: "Obhgations, 
in regard to debt, are considered binding. Time does not diminish 
these obligations among the Creeks. The Indian does not consider 
ill-luck in hunting, as exonerating him from paj-ing his debts." " 

' Stiggins, Ms. ' Adair, op. cit., p. 429. 

' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 304-305. " Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 278. 

» Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. m, p. 37. • Ibid., p. 283. 


Tho yard immediately about each house or group of houses of 
course wont with it; the square groimd, chunky yard, and hot house 
were the ])roperty of the community. Gardens, as Bartram has 
stated, coidd be cleared by anyone anywhere withm the limits of 
the town land.^" iVnd Eakins expresses their attitude toward the 
private ownership of land by the quotation, ''It is for me, for thee, 
and for all." Ho adds, however, that improvements were some- 
times sold." This applied to the Creeks in their western home about 
the middle of the nineteenth century. 

Regarding the tovni lands Stiggins says : 

'' The inhabited parts of the nation are laid out into town districts 
designated from some creek, ridge, or point to some other noted 
point which boundaiy is organized into certain town corporated 
precincts imder the moral guardia.nsliip of their mic cul ga." " The 
inhabitants of each town claimed an exclusive right to hunt in the 
territory immediately about it, and according to Stiggms men of 
one town approached another "with seeming diffidence, though the 
towns may be contiguously situated." '^ At times an agreement 
was entered into by the members of a town to refram from hmituig 
in a certam territory for a definite period. A kind of taboo similar 
to the device conxmon among the Polynesians was laid upon it and it 
was called "ikana tcaka," " the sacred or consecrated land." At the 
expiration of the time fixed upon the people entered this tract and 
himted there together. Bears were the chief animals which they 
expected to find. 

The management of the large to'WTi fields is instructive. Bartram 
says of them: 

"Every town or community assigns a piece of land as near as 
may be to the town, for the sake of convenience. Tliis is called 
the town plantation, where every family or citizen has his parcel or 
share, according to desire or convenience, or the largeness of his 
family. The shares are boimded by a strip of grass ground, poles 
set up, or any other natural or artificial boundary, so that the whole 
plantation is a collection of lots Joinmg each other, comprised in 
one enclosure or general bomidary. " " 

These fields were planted and cultivated by the town working 
together, all attending to tlio several plots in turn. They harvested 
at the same time, but then each family harvested from its own plot. 
A part of the produce of each lot was placed in a public granary 
imder the charge of the chief. 

'« Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. in, p. 37. 

" Eakins in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 277. 

" Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 15. 

» Ibid., p. 19. 

" Bartram, op. cit., p. 39. 


From what Adair tells us"" it woiild seem that the stones used in 
plaAang the chimkey game were town property. 

The house, and probably the necessary household furnitm-e, be- 
longed to the \\Ti'e, the tools made and used by the husband to liim, 
and thus they were vested in different clan groups and some of them 
probably went to entirely different persons at the death of the own- 
ers. In early tunes such a large part of a man's personal property 
was biuied with liis corpse that not much was left for heirs to quarrel 
over. Bartram says that the first selection from whatever was left 
was made by the head wife of the deceased, the remainder being 
divided between his other wives and his children.^^ Tliis may have 
been true in certain special cases but there is reason to doubt that it 
represented a custom common in earlier times. Says Eakins: 

"The descent of property is fixed. It is willed as the parents 
please. But if no Avill has been made, the property reverts to the 
childi-en. But in case of a marriage with a widow, with children, 
her property reverts to her children by her first husband. The 
eldest son is entitled only to an equal portion with the rest. A 
\\Titten will is binding. A verbal will, established by two responsible 
persons, is valid also. If there has been no other disposition made 
of the medal, it goes to the eldest son. In former times, all relics 
were taken possession of by the deceased sister's eldest son. But 
now they are the subject of legacy as other property." '"^ 

This statement dates, of course, from a comparatively late period in 
the history of the Creek Indians, about the year 1850. The same 
authority states just above that anciently aU property descended in 
the female line — indeed, he implies as much in the quotation just 
given — and there is every reason to believe that this is correct. It 
is confirmed by Gregg.^' 

As to the lands of the confederacy outside of these tOM'n areas we 
may probably rely upon the following statement, also by Bartram: 

"Every individual inhabitant has an equal right to the soil and to 
hunt and range over this region, except within the jurisdiction of 
each town or village, which I believe seldom extends beyond its 
habitations and planting gi'ounds. Perhaps the Vches are to be 
excepted. They claim an exclusive property, by right of a contract; 
but though they sometimes put the Creeks in mind of this privilege, 
when their hunters make too free with their hunting groimds, yet 
the dispute seldom goes further, as the Confederacy are cautious of 
offending the Uches, and j-ield to their common interest and safety." ^^ 

"» See p. 466. 

'» Bartram, Travels, p. 514. 

" Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. I, p. 28.3. 

" Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, in Thwaitcs, Early Western Travels, vol. 20, p. 317. 

u Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. m, p. 22. 


The Yuclii probably claimed an exclusive right to huut in their 
ancient territories on the Savannah and Ogechee. 

Spoils taken in war were the property of the captor. Rights to 
land on the part of tribes and towns seem to have been based on 
original occupancy, hunting, and concjuest in wars with other tribes.'* 
It is probable that if we could investigate the Creek confederacy as 
it existed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries we should find 
that, in spite of a freedom to hunt broadly exercised, certain towns 
and clans claimed prior rights over parts of the common territory 
outside of their contiguous town limits, so easily does the idea of 
ownership become associated with that of use.-" Coweta in particular 
seems to have put forth extensive claims to ownership of territory in 
the eastern part of the Creek area, and early in the nineteenth cen- 
tury even professed a right to dispose of the lands of the entire nation. 
This was, however, a political move fathered by the State of Georgia 
and that half-breed element which was acting in its interest. 

In general we may say of the ancient Creeks that use and owner- 
ship among them were pretty closely united wliile the clan system 
and accompanying feeling of solidarity and sense of the duty of 
hospitahty chffused prosperity to such an extent that well being was 
pretty widely extended and contrasts between wealth and poverty 
comparatively slight. 

Finally I can not refrain from quoting the following passage from 
Hawkms, which shows clearly the economic bases of the difficulties 
between the whites and the larger tribes of Indians in the Southeast: 

"Notwithstanding, I rely for the present on the assm-ance I have 
received [from the Indians], I must inform you that the game has 
become scarce; the wants of the Indians are mcreasing, the men too 
proud to laboTU"; the chstemper has destroyed their horses ; the presents 
heretofore given by Great Britain, in quantities sufficient to cloathe 
all the idlers, has ceased; those given by Spain are mere baubles. 
The men, bred in habits proudly indolent and insolent, accustomed 
to be courted, and to think that they did a favour by receiving, where 
naked, cloathes and comforts from the British agents, wiU reluctantly 
and with difficulty, be humbled to the level of rational hfe." -' 

Crevie AND Punishment 

The word haksi was used by Chickasaw of Adair's time " to convey 
the idea of a person's being a criminal in any thing whatsoever," 
and "such unfortunate persons as are mad, deaf, dumb, or bUnd, are 
called by no other name."" The original meaning of tliis word is 

» Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 282. 

»" Eakins denies, however, that families had exclusive rights to any hunting grounds. This was after 
the removal west. 
" Hawkins, Letters, in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. a, p. 240; cf. also p. 209. 
" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 167, footnote. 


"deaf," but it has come to signify "drunken," ''roguish," "wicked," 
"sinful," etc. 

Institutional Icilhng will be treated under its proper head. It was 
based on the principle of retaHation, or, as more popularly expressed, 
"getting even," and was considered necessary in order to placate the 
souls of the departed, I have ah-eady remarked that the victim 
was sometimes devoted to death in advance, and Bartram mentions 
a case in which he was selected by lot. The follomng quotation from 
Adair shows what happened when miirder was committed within the 
tribe, as well as the Indian attitude toward man kiUing generally : 

" The Indians transmit from father to son, the memory of the loss 
of their relation, or of one of their own tribe or family, though it 
were an old woman if she was either killed by the enemy, or by any 
of their own people. If indeed the murder be committed by a kins- 
man, the eldest can redeem : however, if the circumstances attending 
the facts be pecuUar and shocking to nature, the murderer is con- 
demned to die the death of a sinner, 'without anyone to mom-n for 
him,' as in the case of suicide; contrary to their usage toward the rest 
of their dead. 

"In the late Cheerake War, at the earnest persuasions of the 
trading people, several of the Muskohge warriors came down to the 
barrier-settlements of Georgia, to go against the Cheerake, and 
revenge Enghsh crying blood: but the main body of the nation sent 
a running embassy to the merchants there, requesting them immedi- 
ately to forbear their unfriendly proceedings, other^vise, they should 
be forced by disagreeable necessity to revenge their relations' blood 
if it should chance to be spilt contrary to their ancient laws : ... If 
an imruly horse belonging to a white man, should chance to be tied 
at a trading house and kill one of the Indians, either the owner of 
the house, or the person who tied the beast there, is responsible for 
it, by their lex taUonis ; ... If the Indians have a dislike to a per- 
son, who by any casualty was the death of one of their people, he 
stands accountable, and will certainly suffer for it, unless he takes 

"I knew an rnider trader, who being intrusted by his employer 
with a cargo of goods for the country of the Muskohge, was forced 
by the common law of good faith, to oppose some of those savages 
in the remote woods, to prevent their robbing the camp: the chieftain 
being much intoxicated with spirituous liquors, and becoming out- 
rageous in proportion to the resistance he met with, the trader like 
a brave man, o]>posed lawless force by force: some time after, the 
lawless bacchanal was attacked with a pleurisy, of which he died. 
Then the heads of the family of the deceased convened the lesser 
judicatory, and condemned the trader to be shot to death for the 
supposed murder of their kinsman; which they easily effected, as 
he was off his guard, and knew nothing of their murdering design. 


Ilis einployiT, however, had such a friendly intercourse with them, as 
to gain timely notice of any thing that might affecl his person or 
interest; but he was so far from assisting the unfortunate brave 
man, as the laws of humanity and common honour obliged him, that 
as a confederate, he not only concealed their bloody intentions, but 
went basely to the next towai, while tiie savages painted themselves 
red and black, and gave them an opportunity of pei"petrating the 
horrid murder. The poor victim could have easily escaped to the 
English settlements if forewarned, and got the affair accommodated 
by the mediation of the government. In acts of blood, if the sup- 
posed murderer escapes, his nearest kinsman either real or adopted, 
or if he has none there, his friend stands according to their rigorous 
law, answerable for the fact 

"There never was any set of people, who pursued the Mosaic law 
of retaliation with such a fixt eagerness as these Americans. They 
are so determined in this point, that formerly a little boy shooting 
birds in the high and thick corn-fields, unfortimately chanced slightly 
to wound another withJiis childish arrow; the yoimg vindictive fox, 
was excited by custom to watch his ways with the utmost earnestness, 
tiU the wound was returned in as equal a manner as could be expected. 
Then, 'all was straight,' according to their phrase. Their hearts 
were at rest, by having executed that strong law of nature, and they 
sported together as before. This observation though small in itself, 
is great in its combined circumstances, as it is contrary to the usage of 
the old heathen world. They forgive all crimes at the annual atone- 
ment of sins, except murder, which is always punished with death. 
The Indians constantly upbraid us in their bacchanals, for inatten- 
tion to this maxim of theirs; they say, that all nations of people who 
are not utterly sunk in cowardice, take revenge of blood before they 
can have rest, cost what it will. The Indian Americans are more 
eager to revenge blood, than any other people on the whole face of 
the earth. . . . 

"I have known the Indians to go a thousand miles, for the purpose 
of revenge, in pathless woods; over hills and mountains; through 
large cane swamps, full of grape-vines and briars; over broad lakes, 
rapid rivers, and deep creeks; and all the way endangered by poison- 
ous snakes, if not with the rambling and lurking enemy, while at the 
same time' they were exposed to the extremities of heat and cold, 
the vicissitude of the seasons; to hunger and thirst, both by chance, 
and their religious scanty method of living when at war, to fatigue, 
and other difficulties. Such is their overboiling revengeful temper, 
that they utterly condemn all those things as imaginary trifles, if 
they are so happy as to get the scalp of the murderer, or enemy, to 
satisfy the supposed craving ghosts of their deceased relations. 
Though they imagine the report of guns will send off the ghosts of 


their kindrod that died at home, to their quiet place, yet they firinly 
believe, that the spirits of those who are killed by the enemy, without 
equal revenge of blood, find no rest, and at night haunt the houses 
of the tribe to which they belonged; but, when that kindred duty of 
retaliation is justly executed, they immediately get ease and power 
to fly away: This opinion, and their method of bur3^ng and mourn- 
ing for the dead, of which we shall speak presently, occasion them to 
retaliate in so earnest and fierce a manner. . . . When any casual 
tiling draws them into a war, it grows every year more spiteful till 
it advances to a bitter enmity, so as to excite them to an implacable 
hatred to one another's very national names. Then they must go 
abroad to spill the enemy's blood, and to revenge cr_^dng blood. 
We must also consider, it is by scalps they get all their war-titles, 
which distinguish them among the brave: and these they hold in as 
high esteem, as the most ambitious Roman general ever did a great 
triumph." -' 

Says Stiggins: 

"When one of another clan if even by chance should kill one of 
their blood relations on the mother's side of the family, their cus- 
tomary law in tliis is similar to the law of the Jewish legislator in 
reference to the manslayer excepting the city of refuge, for their law 
is literally whoso sheddeth man's blood by man his blood must be 
shed. Time nor distance can not palliate their revenge for should 
the perpetrator make his escape one of his brothers or cousins on his 
mother's side is taken. One of his blood kindred or himself must 
atone for the one lost, male for male and female for female. Even 
accidents are frequently made a matter of atonement, as far for 
instance as to be on business for another person and be killed by their 
horse the employer or one of the brothers or cousins must atone with 
his life for the death; for this reason they say that had it not been for 
liim and his business the death would not have happened." ^* 

To illustrate this point Stiggins describes at length an event which 
occurred in the year 1808 when a Creek named the Singer, described 
as head chief of the Creek Nation, was on an expedition to the west 
of the Mississippi River, accompanied by his brothers. They were 
frightened back to the east side by enemies, and while there one of 
the Singer's brothers killed another Indian belonging to Kasihta, 
whom he mistook for an enemy. The comrades of the man who had 
been slain came to the Singer's camp and found the Singer alone, 
his brothers having set out to visit the Kasihta and explain to them 
the accidental nature of what had happened. This the Singer him- 
self then proceeded to do, and at first the explanation was accepted 
as satisfactory. On their way home, however, the Kasihta Indians 

n Adair, Hist. .\m. Inds., pp. 148-151. 

" Stiggios, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 29; cf. also Gallatin in Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, vol n, p. 111. 


reasoned thnt inasmuch as (heir lirothcr had boon killed it would l)e 
only just to kill the brother of the murderer, and accordingly they 
wont back to the camp of the Singer and killed him in spite of his 
prominent position in the nation. ^^ 

According to Eakins, the proper "avenger of blood" was the own 
brother of the deceased, or, failing him, the nearest male blood and 
clan relative.-" 

Bossu says that "the law is that the one who has killed must be 
killed ; except in case of a mischance, as in drmikemiess, in a transport, 
or in games, "^' but, as we have seen, such excuses did not always 
serve to protect the offender. The same writer also states that the 
French of Fort Toulouse and the Alabama had a standing agreement 
that if a Frenchman killed an Indian he must lose his hfe and vice 
versa, and an actual example is cited. 

The following illustrates the Indian attitude still further. On 
being asked by Hawkins regarding the native Muskogee custom 
of punishing in cases of accidental death with the same severity as 
where there had been a manifest intention to kill, Ifa hadjo, the great 
medal chief of Tukabahchee and speaker of the nation in the national 
council, replied: 

"This custom of oiu-s is a bad one, blood for blood; but I do not 
beheve it came from E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see, but proceeded from 
oiu-selves. Of a case of this sort, I will give you my opinion, by my 
conduct. Lately, in Tookaubatche, two promising boys were play- 
ing and slinging stones. One of them let shp his shng, the stone 
flew back and killed his companion. The family of the deceased 
took the two boys, and were preparing to bury them in the same 
grave. The uncles, who have the right to decide in such cases, 
were sent for, and I was sent for. We arrived at the same time. 
I ordered the people to leave the house, and the two boys to remain 
together. I took the uncles to my house, raised their spirits wdth a 
little rum, and told them, the boy was a fine boy, and would be 
usefid to us in om* to\vn, when he became a man; that he had no ill 
will against the dead one; the act was pm-ely accidental; that it had 
been the will of E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-se to end his days, and I thought 
that the living one should remain, as taking away his life would 
not give it to the other. The two imcles, after some reflection, 
told me, as you have advised us, so we will act; he shall not die, it 
was an accident."-' 

The permanent conversion of the Indians may well be doubted, 
but the ancient law is weU illustrated by the circumstance. Hawkins 

" Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., pp. 29-31. 
M Eakins in Sohoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 227. 
2T Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. ii, p. 45, footnote. 
»Hawliins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 81. 


has tho following to say regarding murder in the stricter sense of 
that term: 

''If murder is committed, the family and tribe alone have the 
right of taking satisfaction. They collect, consult and decide. 
The rubers of the town, or the nation, have nothing to do or to say 
in the business. Tho relations of the murdered person consult 
first among themselves, and if the case is clear, and their family or 
tribe are not likely to suffer by their decision, they determine on the 
case definitely. When the tribe may be affected by it, in a doubtful 
case, or an old claim for satisfaction, the family then consult with 
their tribe; and when they have deliberated and resolved on satis- 
faction, they take the guilty one, if to be come at. If he flies, they 
take the nearest of kin, or one of the family. In some cases, the 
family which has done the injury promise reparation; and in that 
case are allowed a reasonable time to fulfill their promise; and they 
are generally earnest of themselves, in their endeavors to put the 
guilty to death, to save an innocent person. 

" This right of judging, and taking satisfaction, being vested in 
the family or tribe, is the sole cause why their treaty stipulations on 
this head, never have been executed. In like manner, a prisoner 
taken in war, is the property of the captor and his family, it being 
optional with his captor, to kill or save him at the time. And this 
right must be purchased, and it is now the practice, introduced 
witliin a few years, for the nation to pay. The practice has been 
introduced by the agent for Indian affairs, and he pays on the orders 
of the chiefs, out of the stipend allowed by the United States to the 
Creeks. Claims of this sort of seventeen years standing, where the 
prisoner has been delivered to the order of the chiefs, have been 
revived, allowed and paid."-^ 

In view of tliese facts the following law which Hawkins induced 
the Creek council to adopt becomes significant : 

"To declare as law, that when a man is punished by the law of 
the nation, and dies, that it is the law that killed him. It is the 
nation who killed him; and that no man or family is to be held 
accountable for this act of the nation. " ™ 

Nevertheless it was with great difficulty that the Indian agent 
was enabled to secure the punishment of certain thieves and miscliief- 
makers, some of whom had insulted the commissioners of Spain and 
the United States,^' so strong was the sense of obligation to retaliate 
for injuries received by a fellow clansman and so great the fear of 
awaking it. Adair mentions several occasions on which an oft'ender 
was protected by his family.-" By 1820, however, Hodgson reports, 

" Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., TOl. in, pp. 74-75. 

'» Ibid., p. 68. 

'1 Ibid., p. 67. 

» Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 262, 264. 


on the authority of a trader who had been in the Creek country 15 
years, that the murderer was pubHcly executed and the hiw of private 
retahation had gradually become obsolete.^^ And, about 20 years 
later, I'^akins says: 

"Among the Creeks, now, however, the murderer undevgoes a 
regular trial before some of the leading chiefs of the nation, and is 
dealt with according to their decision. If an IncUan should murder a 
negro, the law is satisfied with the value of the negro being paid to 
the owTier. The intervention of time and the fleeing of the murderer, 
generally allay resentment and lead to compromises. After the 
annual "busk," all offences are cancelled.^'' There is no distmction 
made in the estimate of life between the male and female." ^^ 

The administration of justice was, however, far from being Euro- 
peanized. Thus Gregg contradicts Eakins in part when he tells us 
that — 

" They have no trial by jury, and their judicial proceedings are 
exceedingly summary — frequently without witnesses; for the warriors 
are generally too proud to deny a charge, lest it be construed into 
cowardice. Executions sometimes take place within an hour after 
the commencement of trial. Murder, rape, and a thu'd conviction 
of stealing are punished with death, usually by shooting; but, in case 
of homicide, if claimed by the relatives of the deceased, the criminal 
is executed with the same kind of weapon, or, if possible, the very 
same, with which he committed the murder." ^^ 

And he adds: 

" Notwithstanding the severity of these laws, they are for the most 
part rigorously enforced; though a commutation satisfactory to the 
aggrieved is still permitted to release the offender. Their laws, in 
cases of accidental homicide, are still more barbariously rigid than 
those of the other nations." '^ 

The information which I have myself obtained corroborates in aU 
particulars that furnished by these earlier writers. The peculiar 
function of the White towns in protecting escaped criminals seems, 
however, to have well-nigh disappeared even before the migration to 
Oklahoma, as my oldest informants knew nothing about it. Jackson 
Lewis merely stated that a man who had committed an offense in one 
town frequently fled to another and kept out of sight as much as 
possible until a considerable period had elapsed. Then the chief of 
the town where he had sought refuge would say to the cliief of the 
other town: "I have made a townsman of this friend of yours and I 

" Hodgson, Journey through N. A., p. 267. 

" This agrees with the statement of one of Speck's informants (Mem. Am. .\nth. .\ssd., vol. n, p. 115), 
but anciently murder was one crime excepted from the general amnesty. 
" Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. i, p. 277. 

" Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, in Early Western Travels, vol. 20, p. 315, 
" Ibid., pp. 315-316. 


desire him to be made free." Frequently tliis was done and lie suf- 
fered no punishment. 

-Vmong the -Vlabama retaliation for murtler rested, as among 
the Creeks, with the clan of the vietuu. Upon one occasion, after 
this tribe had removed to Louisiana and Texas, one of the Louisiana 
Alabama lulled another and iled to Texas. Sometime afterward ho 
suddenly appeared among the people he had left while a dance was 
going on. Tlie men belonging to tlie clan of the murdered man then 
got their guns, came to the place, and killed liini. He on liis part 
crouched by the fire and made no attempt to escape. Evidently he 
had decided deliberately that death was better than banishment. 

There is no instance recorded of an old person being killed to save 
his family the trouble of supporting him, and Bartram is insistent 
that such cases occiu-red rarely, and onlj' at the earnest request 
of the victim.^* Bossu says that " the old people who can not follow 
during a retreat ask to be killed with blows of clubs, as well to spare 
them the grief of decrepitude as for fear lest they fall into the hands 
of their enemies, and be burned or eaten,'""* but he is careful to ex- 
plain that death was inflicted upon the aged only from motives of 
humanity. Says Eomans: ''They revere old age to excess," but he 
adds, "in extreme sickness they ^^•ill out of compassion break the 
neck of the decrepit or ungering patient. " ^'^ 

Infanticide was practiced under certain circiunstances, as the 
following from Swan shows: 

"If a young woman becomes pregnant by a fellow whom she had 
expected to marry, and is disappointed, in revenge, she is authorized 
by a custom of the country, to destroy the infant at the birth, if she 
pleases, which is often done, by leaving it to perish in the swamp 
where it M^as born, or throwing it into the water. And, indeed, to 
destroy a new-born infant is not uncommon in families that are grown 
so numerous as to be supported with difficulty; it is done by mutual 
consent of the clan and parents, and without remorse."'"' 

This is supported by MiKort: 

''In this nation the children all belong to the mother, who has the 
right of life and deatii over the one to whom she has just given birth, 
during the first month following her confinement. This time having 
expired, if she should kill it she would herself be punished with 
death." ^' 

Witchcraft was often given as the reason for killing a certain per- 
son, but it must be remembered that the person was not destroyed 

'* Bartram, Travels, p. 497. 

" Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. ii, pp. 25-2r.. 

»• Nat. Hist. E. and W. Fla., p. 9S. 

" Swan, in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 272. 

" Milfort, Mim., p. 251. 

82517°— 2,S 23 


merely because he was believed to possess the powers of a wizard, 
l)ut l)ocause it was thought he had used his art to kill or seriously 
injure someone else. Thus the wizard (or witch) was not punished 
for ])oiug a wizard, according to the understanding of the people 
themselves, but for being a murderer. 

Adultery was punished among the Creeks and other southern 
tribes in such a striking manner that ahnost every traveler in that 
section has recorded something about the custom. The fu-st report 
of it was given by Garcilasso from information furnished by two old 
soldiers of De Soto's army and is as follows: 

"Before leaving the province of Tuscaluga, it is proper to relate 
the manner in which the laws of this country and of that of Coga, 
punish adulteresses. There is, in this last province, a law which 
decrees, upon penalty of death, that if any one has sufficient indica- 
tions to believe that a woman is an adulteress, he has to inquire into 
it and impeach her before the cacique, or, in his absence, before the 
local jiidges. These judges upon the report that is made to them, 
secretly hold an incjuest against the person accused, and arrest her 
if they find her guilty. Afterwards, at the first festival, they order 
to be pubhshed that the inhabitants, on going out from their dinner 
repair to a certain place outside of the village, and that there they 
all arrange themselves in a row. Then come the judges, of whom 
two place themselves at one end of this file, and two at the other. 
They fu'st decree that they bring to them the adulteress, and then 
they say to her husband who is present, that she is convicted of a 
lewd life, and that he must deal with her according to the rigor of 
the law. The husband strips her entirely naked, and shaves her 
with a kind of razor of fhnt; a disgraceful punishment and common 
among the Indians of the new world. Then to show that he repudiates 
her, he leaves with the clothes of lus wife, and abandons her to the 
power of the judges. Two immediately command the criminal to 
pass in front of the persons who are in a row, and to go and declare 
her crime to the other two officers. She obeys, and as soon as she 
draws near to them she tells them that she is convicted of adultery and 
condemned to the penalty with which the law punishes that crime; 
that she is sent to them in order that they may do with her what it 
shall please them for the welfare of the province. The judges imme- 
diately send her back with this answer: that it is just that the laws 
that are made with a view to the preservation of public virtue should 
be 'inviolably observed; tliat therefore they confu'm the sentence 
wliich they have rendered against her, and order her in the future 
not to relapse again into her crime. Thereupon she returns to the 
first judges, and the people who are in a row hiss her, and endeavor 
by means of insults, to increase her shame. In the mean time the 
people who come in a crowd and see her naked, yell at her. Some 



cast clods of earth at her, and others straw, and others old rags and 
pieces of mats and other like things, the law ordering it so, and they 
regard this poor woman only as the disgrace of her sex. After all 
these inflictions, the jiulge banishes her from the country and places 
her in the hands of her parents, with orders, upon pain of exemplary 
pimishment, not to permit her to enter into any place of the province. 
The parents receive her, and as soon as they cover her wath a mantle 
they lead her away into a place where she is never seen by any Indian 
of the country; and at the same time the jiidges permit the husband 
to take another wHe. Tims they punish, in Co9a, the Indian women 
who violate the faith which they owe to those whom they marry. 
But in the province of Tuscaluga they punish them with still greater 
rigor. The law of tliis country decrees that if, at an unseasonable 
hour, they see any one enter and leave thi'ee or four times a house, 
and that they suspect the mistress of the lodge of adultery, they are 
obliged, by the religion of the country, to inform the husband of the 
conduct of his wife, and to prove, by three or four witnesses, that 
they assert nothing but the truth. The husband, at the same time, 
assembles the wntnesses, and interrogates them one after another, 
with horrible imprecations against him who lies, and great benedic- 
tions in favor of him who discloses the truth. 

"Afterwards, if he finds his wife sufficiently convicted of having 
violated her faith, he leads her out of the village, ties her to a tree 
or to a post which he fixes in the ground, and shoots her to death 
with arrows. Then he goes to the cacique, or, in his absence, to the 
justice of the place. He teUs them that, in such a place outside of 
the village, he has just killed his wife, upon information that she had 
committed adultery; that he petitions them to smnmon the accusers, 
in order that, if the crime of which they charge her is true, he might 
be formally acquitted, and, if the contrary, he might receive the pun- 
ishment decreed by the law of the province. In the latter case, the 
law commands the parents of the wife to shoot the husband to death 
with arrows; that he be the prey of dogs and birds, and that his wife, 
as a mark of her innocence, be honorably interred ; that if the witnesses 
persisted in their evidence and did not contradict themselves, in a 
word, if they verified by good proofs the crime in question, they 
acquitted the husband, with the hberty to take a wife, and forbid, 
upon pain of death, the parents of the criminal from drawing a single 
arrow from her body, or even interring it, because it was necessary 
that she should serve as an example and be devoured by beasts. We 
see by this that, in all Florida they punished very rigorously adul- 
teresses. But we do not know in what manner they punished the 
men who debauched the \\'ives of others." " 

" Shipp's Garcilasso, pp. 392-393. 


The Cocj-a were represented in later years hy part of the Upper 
Creeks and the Tuscalu^a by the Mobile Indians, and the customs 
recorded here do not accord with the later customs known to have 
been in vogue among either. Nevertheless, as we shall presently 
see, Adair mentions the custom of shooting adulteresses to death 
as one formerly in vogue in the very region from which Garcilasso 
reports it. He does not say what tribe was adiUcted to tliis, but it 
would seem to have been one of those near the jimction of the Coosa 
and Tallapoosa Rivers. The Mobile do not appear to have preserved 
this usage, as none of the French wi'iters mentions it. This may 
have been due to the enormous losses they had suffered from the 
Spaniards and from other tribes of Indians. Hawkins says that the 
Creek punishment for adultery was unlvnown among the Alabama,^^ 
but he is contradicted by Bossu who describes it in some detail." 
Regarding the ordeal which Garcilasso attributes to the Copa there 
are two possible explanations: either his informants had obtained 
only an imperfect account of the custom or the usage changed be- 
tween the time of De Soto and the later English and French settle- 
ments. There is some reason to believe that the latter explanation 
is partly correct, because Hakwins, writing near the end of the eight- 
eenth century, says that the law regarding adultery, along with 
many other usages, originated with the Abihka Indians.''^ These 
peo])le are nowhere mentioned in the De Soto narratives and may not 
have been in the country in De Soto's time. 

Adair, as usual, gives a very complete account, containing in- 
formation not found elsewhere. He says : *^ 

"The middle aged people of a place, which hes about half-way 
to Mobile, and the Ilhnois (fi-om Carohna), assure us, that they 
remember when atlultery was punished among them with death, by 
shooting the offender with barbed arrows, as there are no stones 
there. But what with the losses of their people at war with the 
French and their savage confederates, and the constitutional wan- 
tonness of their young men and women, they have through a jaohtical 
desire of continuing, or increasing their numbers, moderated the 
severity of that law, and reduced it to the present standard of iJimish- 
ment; which is in the following manner. If a married woman is 
detected in adultery by one person, the evidence is deemed good in 
judgment against her; the evidence of a well grown boy or girl, they 
even reckon sirfiicient, because of the heinousness of the crime, and 

" Qa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 37. 

l" See p. 351. 

" Hawkins in Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 42. 

" As Adair's account is somewhat confused it should be explained that, after speaking of the people who 
formerly punished adultery by shooting the offender with arrows, he proceeds to describe the Chickasaw 
method of punishment. Then he takes up the Muskogee customs and reverts to the Chickasaw in the 
next to the last paragraph of the quotation, concluding with a final paragraph on the Muskogee. 



the diificulty of discovering it in tlioir tliick forests. . . . When the 
crime is proved against the woman, the enraged husband accom- 
panied by some of liis relations, surprises and beats her most bar- 
barously, and then cuts off her hair and nose, or one of her lips. There 
are many of that sort of disfigured females among the Chikkasah, 
and they are commonly the best featured, and the most tempting 
of any of their coxuitry-women, which exposed them to the snares of 
young men. But their fellow-criminals, who probably first tempted 
them, are partially exempted from any kind of corporal punishment. 

"With the Muskohge Indians^ it was formerly reckoned adultery, 
if a man took a pitcher of water off a married woman's head, and 
drank of it. But their law said, if he was a few steps apart, and 
she at his request set it down, and retired a little way off, he might 
then drink without exposing her to any danger. . . . 

'"Among those Indians, when ailultery is discovered, the offend- 
ing parties commonly set off speedily for the distant woods, to 
secure themselves from the shameful badge of the sharp penal law, 
which they inevitably get, if they can be taken before the yearly 
offering for the atonement of sin; afterward, every crime except 
murder is forgiven. But they are always pursued, and frecjuently 
overtaken; though perhaps, three or four moons absent, and two 
hundred miles off, over hills and mountains, up and down many creeks 
and rivers on contrary courses, and by intricate windings — the 
pirrsuers are eager, and their hearts burn witliin them for revenge. 
When the husband has the chilling news first whispered in his ear, 
he steals off with his witness to some of his kinsmen, to get them 
to assist him in revenging his injury; they are soon joined by a 
sufficient number of the same family, if the criminal was not of the 
same tribe [town]; otherwise, he chuses to confide in his nearest re- 
lations. When the witness has asserted to them the truth of his 
evidence by a strong asseveration, they separate to avoiti suspicion, 
and meet commonly in the dusk of the evening, near the town of the 
adulterer, where each of them provides a small hoop-pole, tapering 
to the point, with knobs half an inch long, (allowed by ancient 
custom) with which they correct the sinners; for as their law in this 
case doth not allow partiahty, if they punishetl one of them and 
either excused or let the other escape from justice, like the lUinois, 
they would become liable to such pimishment as they had inflicted 
upon either of the parties.*' 

" They commonly begin with the adulterer, because of the two, he 
is the more capable of making his escape: They generally attack 
him at night, by surprise, lest he should make a desperate resistance, 
and blood be shed to cry for blood. They fall on eager and merciless, 

'" If the male offender escaped punishment could be inflicted on a relative. See Hawltins (p. 352) and 
Claiborne (p. 353). 


whooping their revengeful noise, and thrashing their captive, with 
their loiig-knobhed lioo])-ilails; some over his head and face; otliers 
on his shoulders and back. His belly, sides, legs, and arms, are 
gashed all over, and at last, he happily seems to be insensible of pain: 
then they cut off his ears. . . . 

"They observe, however, a graduation of punishment, according 
to the criminality of the adulteress. For the first breach of the mar- 
riage faith thoy crop her ears and hair, if the husband is s])iteful: 
either of those badges proclaims her to bo a whore, or Ualcse Kaneha, 
. . . for the hair of their head is their ornament: when loose it com- 
pletely reaches below their back; and when tied, it stands below the 
crown of the head, about four inches long, and two broad. As the 
offender cuts a comical figure among the rest of the women, by being 
trimmed so sharp, she always keeps her dark winter hot house, 
tUl by keeping the hair moistened with grease, it grows so long as 
to bear tjoiig. Then she accustoms herself to the light by degrees; 
and soon some wortliless fellow, according to their standard, buys 
her for liis Atm; wliich term hath been abeady explained. 

" The adidterer's ears are flashed off close to his head, for the first 
act of adultery, because he is the cliief in fault. If the criminals 
repeat the crime with any other married persons, their noses and 
upper lips are cut off. But the third crime of the like nature, is 
attended with more danger; for the law says, that for public heinous 
crimes, satisfaction should be made visible to the people, and ade- 
quate to the injuries of the virtuous — to set their aggrieved hearts 
at ease, and prevent others from following such a dangerous crooked 
copy. As they will not com])ly with their mitigated law of adultery 
nor be terrified, nor shamed from their ill course of hfe; that the one 
may not frighten and abuse their wives, nor the other seduce their 
husbands and be a lasting plague and shame to the whole society, 
they are ordered by their ruling magi and war-cliief tains, to be shot 
to death, which is accordingly executed; but this seldom happens. 

"Wlien I asked the Chikkasah the reason of the inequality of their 
marriage-law, in jiunisliing tlie weaker passive party, and exempting 
the stronger, contrary to reason and justice; they told me, it had 
been so a considerable time — because their land being a continual 
seat of war, and the hu-king enemy for ever pelting them without, 
and the women decoying them witliin, if they put such old cross 
laws of marriage in force, all their beloved brisk warriors would 
soon be spoiled, and their habitations turned to a wild waste. . . . 

" The Muskohge Indians . . . obhge the adidteress imder the 
penalty of the severest law not to be free ^^'ith any man, (imless 
she is inclined to favour her fellow sufferer) during the space of four 
moons, after the broken moon in whicli they suffered for each other, 
according to the custom of the Maldivians. But her husband 



exposes liimself to the utmost severity of the marriage law, if he is 
kno-\ni to hold a famihar intercourse with her after the time of her 
punishment. " ■** 

Hodgson, on the authority of an old Creek trader, says that a 
husband who connived at the return of an adulterous wife from 
exile was liable to suffer tlie very penalties that had been infhcted 
upon her.^° 

Bossu's account, already alluded to, of the method in which punish- 
ment was inflicted among the Alabama, is as follows: 

'"It is first necessary that the husband be satisfied with his own 
eyes, and then the delinquent woman is sj)ied upon by the relatives 
of the husband and by her own. It would be vain for the husband 
to wish to keep the unfaithful wife, he is no longer master of the 
situation : here is the reason for tliis, it is that the savages regard it 
as scandalous for a true man to live with a woman who has failed 
him so signally. In such a conjuncture the husband goes to find 
the chief, and lays the case before liim. The chief then orders 
people to cut sticks; great secrecy is preserved. The chief then 
appoints a dance, at which everyone is obliged to be present, men, 
women, girls, and boys; if one is absent he pays a penalty; but no 
one ordinarily absents himself; at the moment when the dance is 
at its height they seize the adulteress, throw her on the ground, 
and then beat her on her back and on the front part of her body with- 
out sparing her. The one who seduced her receives the same treat- 

'■ When these mifortimates have been well castigated a relative be- 
longing to each side approaches and puts a rod between the beaters 
and the beaten. Instantly aU blows cease;- but the woman is not 
yet free; her husband comes and cuts off her hair close to her head, 
and then he reproaches her in the presence of the assembly; that is 
to say he depicts to her how wrongly she has treated him, he never 
having let her want for anything, and that since it is so she can go 
with her seducer. Tliey cut off his plaited hair aU about, which falls 
in part over the foreheads of these people; after that they say to 
him, pomting to the unfaithful woman, 'There is your wife.' He 
is allowed to marry her on the spot but he is obUged to change his 

'•When it happens that a woman debauches the husband of 
another, the women assemble with rods as long as their arms, and go 
to seek for the culprit whom they beat unmercifully, which makes 
the young people laugh very much; if they did not finally snatch 
the rods from the hands of these furies they would kill the imfor- 
timate culprit." ^ 

" Adair. Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 142-146. 

" Hodgson, Jour, through N. Am., pp. 287-268. 

" Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. ii, pp. 22-24. 


The accounts of Hawkins ami Pope regarding this punishment 
also deserve insertion. Hawkins states that aduU-ery "is punished 
by the family or tribe of the husband. They collect, consult and 
decree. If the proof is clear, and they determine to punish the 
offenders, they divide and proceed to apprehend them. One half 
goes to the house of the woman, the remainder to the family house 
of the adulterer; or they go together, as they have decreed. They 
apprehend the offenders, beat them severely with sticks, and then 
crop them. They cut off the hair of the woman, which they 
carry to the square in triumph. If they apprehend but one of the 
offenders, and the other escapes, they then go and take satisfaction 
from the nearest relation.""* If both the offenders escape, and the tribe 
or family return home, and lay down the sticks, the crime is satis- 
fied. There is one family only, the 'Wind,' (Ho-tul-ul-gee) , that can 
take up the sticks a second time. This crime is satisfied in another 
way, if the parties offending absent themselves tiU the Boos-ke-tuh 
is over. Then all crimes are done away except murder. And the 
bare mention of them, or any occurrence which brings them in 
recollection, is forbidden." " 

Pope says: 

"Upon a detection of the crime, about 50 or 60 persons of each sex, 
repair to a thicket, and supply themselves with hickory clubs; this 
done, the men determine upon the measure of punishment to be 
inflicted on the woman and permit the women to decide upon the 
man's. They then separate, brandishing their clubs; the men in 
quest of the woman, the women in quest of the man. The adulteress 
when foimd, is seized upon, and ignominiously dragged into a circle 
formed by the men, who beat her with their clubs till she can no 
longer stand; and whilst extended on the ground, the avengers pro- 
ceed to dock her hair, crop her ears, and slit her nostrils: of all this 
her inamorato, is made an unwilling spectator, and sometimes an 
agent; who, in turn, suffers a similar disgrace in the circle of the 
women, his fair Dulcinea looking on. What I have here mentioned 
are the highest punishments they ever infhct, even upon the most 
atrocious offenders. Simetimes they dispense with cropping their 
ears and slitting the nostrils, and content themselves, with giving 
the offender a sound drubbing with a short dock. . . . 

"If the club bearers ever relinquish, or lay down their clubs through 
any mishap or necessity; before they encircle the object of their 
vengeance, they dare not resume them again, as it is presumed, that 
it was so ordered by their God, in tender mercy to the delinquents, 
who are accordingly acquitted of that offense." ^^ 

Mb There is an apparent contradiction with Adair here but it is reconciled by Claiborne (p. 353). 
«i Hawkins, Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. m, p. 74. 
" Pope, Tour, pp. 5&-58. 



In statinp; that punishment was inflicted on the male offender by 
tlie women and on the female offender by the men Pope differs from 
all othei' writers. 

Claiborne is also brief: 

"If the woman violates her fidelity before the green-corn dance 
[among the Creeks] she is whipped severely, her ears cut off and tied 
to the sticks with which she was beaten and the sticks set up in the 
town square for the people to look at. They serv^e the man who 
seduced her in the same way. If the man clears out, and cannot 
be caught, the clansmen of the injured husband punish his nearest 
relation in his stead. If the woman be punished and not her seducer, 
or his relation, the clan of the woman inflict upon the leader of the 
party that punished her, the same punishment which she had endured, 
and there the tiling ends."^' 

Romans dismisses the matter shortly: 

"Adultery is punished by severe flageUations and loss of hair, nose, 
and ears, in both parties, if they are taken; sometimes they spare 
the noso of the man, and I have known some instances of white men 
having this misfortune and being obliged to apply to the Com- 
missary, or the nearest Governor for a certificate to secure them from 
the imputation of the pillory. "^^ 

Stiggins informs us that a man could take a second wife or concu- 
bine only with the consent of his first wife, and if he did not obtain it 
he was treated as an adulterer and punished as such by his wife's 
family ,^^ and also that a widow or widower who married before the 
expii-ation of the prescribed period of mourning was so treated.^" In 
this he is confirmed by Swan." 

The prerogative of the Wind clan mentioned by Hawkins is con- 
firmed by Swan,^* Stiggins/' and my informant Jackson Lewis. 
According to another authority the Wind clan could take up the 
clubs four times and the Bear clan could take them up twice,"" but 
this may have been the case in some one town. Stiggins adds that 
the same privflege was enjoyed by members of the Wind clan in the 
case of minor offenses such as stealing."^ There were no doubt many 
variations in the procedure, several of which are indicated in the 
accounts already given. In later times the penalty was probably 
softened. Mr. Mc Combs told me that for the first commission of 
adultery the man and woman were both beaten and the soft lobes 

" Clruborne, Miss., vol. i, p. 492. 

•' Romans, Nat. Hist. E. and W. Fla., p. 98. 

" See p. 373. 

» See pp. 378-379. 

'" See p. 378. 

" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 269. 

" Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 28. 

" The agent Mitchell as reported by Oallatin in Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., vol. n, p. Ill, 1836. 

81 Stiggins, Ms., p. 28. 


of their cars wlu'i-ci tlui ciirrings were coinmonly woi-ii were cut off; 
for the second offense the whole ear was cut off; and for the third 
offense they cut off the nose, saying to the culprit "You have not 
sense enough to smell anything." He added that if a man had a 
wife and children and some other woman began running about with 
him, the women inflicted the punishment. They would rush upon 
their victim, foaming at the mouth like mad tigers, tear off her 
clothing and leave her all covered with blood. Meantime the men 
related to the woman's husband would gather round and, if they saw 
matters were likely to be carried to extremes, pull the woman away. 

As the evidence of a single person was admitted, frequently a very 
young one at that, the innocent sometimes suffered, and the atten- 
tions of the Indians were often extended to white traders among them, 
in many cases no doubt on the most ample grounds. 

If we were to accept Swan's testimony we should have to suppose 
that sexual looseness before marriage was not punished nor indeed 
curtailed in the smallest degree. He says: 

"Simple fornication is no crime or reproach among the Ci'eeks; 
the sexes indulge their propensities with each other promiscuously, 
imrestrained by law or custom, and without secrecy or shame. If 
a young woman becomes pregnant before she is married, which 
most of them do, the child is maintained in her clan without the least 
murmuring." "- 

Hodgson also declares that "female licentiousness before marriage 
is not attended with loss of character," •" and Romans that "they 
will never scruple to sell the use of their bodies when they can do it 
in private" and "the savages think a young woman nothing the 
worse for making use of her body, as they term it." "■* 

Bossu and Hitchcock testify to the same effect,"^ the latter attribut- 
ing the abuse to the influence of polygamy. "^ 

Nevertheless, from what may be gathered from other sources, it is 
evident that there were limits beyond which a yoimg person could 
not go without being made to suffer in consequence. 

At the meetings of the clan to which the offender belonged lie (or 
she) would probably be reprimanded by the oldest clan uncle and 
perhaps "diy scratched" or whipped. The former punislmient was 
inflicted by means of an implement made of gar teeth, or in later 
times needles. One person grasped the arms of the victim and held 
them about the ball-post wliile the scratching was done, and the latter 
usually bore it in stoical silence for fear of the ridicule of his com- 
panions. Another punishment was sarcasm, in which the Indians are 

« Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 272, 
M Hodgson, Journey through N. Am., pp. 267-268. 
" Romans, Nat. Hist, of E. and W. Fla., p. 97 
•> See p. 370. 
" Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 



adepts. They would praise the culprit in the highest manner, review- 
ing with the most circumstantial details his assumed virtuous actions, 
the exact opposite, of course, of the things he had really done, until 
he was only too glad to flee from the general ridicule. 

The punishment usually meted out to those members of different 
but linked clans who had carnal intercourse with each other was "the 
long scratch" (sapka tcapko), performed by inserting a gar tooth or 
needle in the skin at the back of the neck and making a shallow cut 
along the spine and then on down to the heel. The pain was, of 
course, intense, but the public shame attending the performance, 
which took place in the presence of all of the people, was very much 
worse. As one man put it, it was to show that the ofl^enders were no 
better than brutes and placed a stigma for life upon the parties under- 
going it. According to another informant, instead of being dry 
scratched, the culprits were flogged very severely. At Chiaha the 
scratching took place at the northeast corner of the square groimd. 
Mr. William Mc Combs, of this town, remembered that during the 
Civil War a Potato man and a Raccoon woman were in danger of a 
thrasliing for having consorted together. 

If the offenders belonged to the same clan the punishment was 
worse — often death. An Abihka Indian told me that he remembered 
a case in which a woman of the Wind clan was beaten to death for an 
offense of the kind. Another informant stated that for the first 
offense in such cases the long scratch was the sole punishment, but 
flogging for the second. Still another claimed that flogging was the 
penalty for the first offense, the nose and ears also being cut off. 
In later times they omitted cutting off the nose. Flogging was also 
the punishment among the Texas Alabama, but in more ancient 
times it is though that the penalty was more severe. At any rate, 
this crime was considered so dreadful by the Alabama that it was 
believed "the eai-th might burn up" in consequence of it, and the 
sentiment is so strong down to the present day that there are only 
three instances of endogamous marriages, while far more marriages 
take place outside of linked clans among all the people of the Creek 
confederacy. For instance, one of my interpreters belonged to the 
Panther clan, his father was an Alligator, and his wofe a Bear. 
Another belonged to the Aktayatci, his father was a Bear, and his 
father's father a Panther. Still another belonged to the Deer, his 
father to the Raccoon, and his father's father to the Potato. The 
last lived at Tukabahchee where marriage between the Potato and 
Raccoon was allowed. 

Related to these crimes was one mentioned by Adair when he says 
that the Muskogee came near putting some white traders to death 
because, when "in their cups," they forcibly viewed the nakedness 
of a woman who was reputed to be a hermaphrotUte, and he states 


that this was "according to one of their old laws against crimes of 
that kind." " 

In another place Adair speaks of the nonohservance of the sepa- 
ration of a woman during her menstrual periods as a crime on a par 
with mm-der and adultery. "Should any of the Indian women violate 
this law of purity," he says, "they would be censured, and suffer 
for any sudden sickness, or death that might happen among the 
people." ^' 

Punishments similar to those described above were resorted to in 
cases of theft, whicli anciently do not appear to have been common 
within the tribe. Hodgson, relying on an Indian trader of 15 years' 
experience, says of this: 

"Steahng is punished, for the first offence, by whipping; for the 
second, by the loss of the ears; for the third, by death — the amount 
stolen being disregarded. My host remembers when there was no 
law against steahng; the crime itself being almost unknown — when 
the Indians would go hunting, or 'frolicking,' for one or two days, 
leaving their clothes on the bushes opposite their wigwams, in a 
populous neighborhood, or their silver trinkets and ornaments hang- 
ing in their open huts. Confidence and generosity were then their 
characteristic virtues. A desire of gain, caught from the whites, has 
chilled their hberality; and abused creduhty has taught them sus- 
picion and deceit." *' 

It is to be feared that this is in part another case of "the good old 
days " which do not appear as good on close examination, but, for eco- 
nomic reasons, it is certain that stealing was not one of those sias 
characteristic of the southeastern Indians before white contact. 

As to the penalties inflicted for theft, Hodgson's informant is sub- 
stantially confirmed by Gregg. "Most inferior crimes," he says, 
"are punished by whipping; for the first offence of stealing, fifty 
lashes; for the second, a hundred and ears cropped," and he has 
already stated that death was the penalty for the third.'" 

Swan says that McGillivray introduced the law that "if an Indian 
steals a horse, he is liable ... to return him, or another of equal 
value, and pay a fine of thirty chalks, or fifteen doUars ; if he is unable 
to do so, he may be tied and whipped thirty lashes by the injured 
party. But," he adds, "as in other cases, the infliction of punish- 
ment depends, at last, on the superior force of the injm'ed clan." '' 

Failure to attend the busk was penalized by the imposition of 
fines or confiscation of property, and sinular punishments were 
resorted to for other derelictions in duty to the community. Thus, 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 23. 

«« See p. 359. 

•' Hodgson, Journey through N. Am., pp. 287-208. 

" Gregg, Commerce of the Prairie.s, in Early Western Travels, vol. 20, pp. 315, 316. 

1 Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 281. 



the Tukabahchee chief said to Hitchcock: "When we order out the 
people to make a public fence, if they don't turn out, we send and 
take awaj' their gun, or horse, or something else to punish them." " 

Adair tells us that neglect of the regular morning plunge into 
nuinmg water was deemed a heinous crime and was punished by 
dry scratchmg. '^^ 

Mention has been made above of the device resorted to by McGilli- 
vray in order to bring recalcitrant towns to order. 

"When the inhabitants of any particular town are notorious for 
horse-stealing, or have acted othei^wise unadvisedly, the chief has 
the entire power of punishing them collectively by removing the 
wliite man from among them, and depriving them of trade. This 
at once humbles them most effectually; for they conceive the privi- 
lege of having a good white trader in their town, to be inestimable." ^^ 

^Vfter the removal of the Indians to Oklahoma I am told that the 
following was the usual procedure in cases of theft. A coimcil of the 
people or clans in the neighborhood was held and the matter was 
reported to the chief of the Creek Nation who then sent light-horse- 
men after the culprits, although sometimes he left the apprehension 
of them to the people living in the neighborhood. When these had 
been brought to trial and convicted they were usually lashed, and 
the lasliing was by no means a light matter, according to those who 
have observed it, the blows raising huge welts on the flesh and death 
not infrequently ensuing. Debts of licensed traders were some- 
times brought before the national council for adjudication.'* 

Escaped murderers and adulterers, and those who had committed 
lesser offenses and had withdrawn from their people to avoid the 
ridicule and contempt of their fellow townsmen, formed a class from 
which, says Bartram, generally came the ruffians who committed 
depredations and murders on the frontierg.'^ The foundation of 
new towns may sometimes be traced to them, as indeed is frankly 
admitted by members of those towns themselves. It is said that 
the town of Wiwohka had such an origin, and it is also claimed for 
others like Hilibi on less satisfactory grounds. In later times many 
such people swelled the population of the Florida Seminole. 

Adair is the only writer to say anything about oaths used in adjur- 
ing a witness to give true evidence, and in this connection he does 
not mention the Creeks, onl}^ the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw. 
The Chickasaw and Choctaw oath he gives as ChiHooska Jce-e-u Cli ua,''^ 
which he interprets "Do not you lie^ Do you not, of a certain 

'2 Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 
"» Adair, Hist. Am. iDds., p 120; see p. 36C. 
" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 281-282. 
" Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. I, p. 277. 
'<• Bartram, Travels, p. 513. 

'6 Ltishka is a Chickasaw word meaning "to lie" ; cftjklushko signifies "you do not lie"; ke-e-u (or keyn) 
is the negative. The form used here is a strengthened one. 


truth r' And tho answer is Akloosha Ke-e-n-que-Ho, "I do not lie; 
I do not, of a certain truth."" Eegarding epithets he says, "the 
sharpest and most histing affront, the most ojiprobrious, indc^lible 
epithet, Avith which one Indian can possibly brand another, is to 
call him in public company, Hoobuk Waslce, Eunuchus, praeputio 
dctecto." '8 


In treating of the general customs of the Creeks it will be well to 
keep in mind certain cycles. Thus there were customs that concerned 
the cycle of human life itseH, including the imjiortant events incident 
to existence, such as birth, puberty, marriage, and death. There 
were certain others determined by the annual cycle of the seasons, 
and still others by the shorter cycle of day and night. Beyond these 
there were still other customs independent of changes in hfe or 
nature. It will be as well to take up the customs concerned with 
events incident to human life in the first place, and then proceed to 
the rest. 

The Vital Cycle 

puberty and childbirth 

The regulations imposed upon a woman at the time of her montlily 
periods and at cliildbu'th resembled each other in many particulars 
and may be conveniently treated together. Adair's account is the 
oldest. It applies primarily to the Chickasaw, but there was little 
difference between their usages and those of the Creeks. He says: 

"... They oblige their women in their lunar retreats, to bvuld 
small huts, at as considerable a distance from their dwelling-houses, 
as they imagine may be out of the enemies reach; where, during the 
space of that period, they are obliged to stay at the risque of their 
lives. Should they be loiown to violate that ancient law, they must 
answer for every misfortune that befalls any of the people, as a certain 
effect of the divine fire; though the lurking enemy sometimes kills 
them in their religious retirement. Notwithstanding they reckon 
it conveys a most horrid ami dangerous pollution to those who touch 
or go near them, or walk anywhere within the circle of their retreats; 
and are in fear of thereby spoiling the supposed purity and power of 
their holy ark, which they always carry to war; yet the enemy believe 
they can so cleanse themselves with the consecrated herbs, roots, 
etc. which the chieftain carries in the beloved war-ark, as to secure 
them in tliis jjoint from boddy danger, because it was done against 
their enemies. 

" The non-observance of this separation, a breach of the marriage- 
law, and murder, they esteem the most capital crunes. Wlien the 
time of the women's separation is ended, they always purify them- 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 51. " Ibid., p. 136. 



selves in deep, running water, return liome, dress, and anoint them- 
selves. They ascribe these montlily periods to the female structure, 
not to the anger of IshtoTioollo Aha. 

" Correspontlent to the Mosaic law of women's purification after 
travail, the Indian women absent themselves from their husbands 
and all public com])any, for a considerable time — The Muskohge 
women are separate for three moons, exclusive of that moon in which 
they are delivered. . . . 

" Should any of the Indian women violate this law of purity, they 
would be censured, and suffer for any sudden sickness, or death that 
might happen among the people, as the necessary effect of the divine 
anger for their polluting sin, contrary to their old traditional law of 
female purity. Like the greater part of the Israelites, it is the fear 
of the temporal evils, and the prospect of temporal good, that makes 
them so tenacious and observant of their laws. At the stated period, 
the Indian women's impurity is finished by ablution, and they are 
again atlniitted to social and holy privileges." '" 

One of my Creek informants spoke of the montlily course as "a 
strong disease." I do not know to what extent this represented the 
former opinion among Creeks generally. His account is as follows: 

" When a woman had her montlily course, or when she had a child, 
she had to go outside and stay four days, or for as many days as it 
lasted. She lived in a house by herself, used special dishes, ate no 
large game animals of any kind, and did not go into the garden. 
She washed and put on entirely new clothing before she came back. 
If she should go into the garden, people thought the vegetation would 
be weakened. They thought that the menstrual flow could be sensed 
at a distance and affect the vitality of men and other creatiu'es. 
A woman at that period must bathe down stream from a man. She 
must also pass every man she met in such a way that the wind would 
not blow from her to him. If these regulations were not observed, 
it was feared that the man's lungs and blood would be affected and 
that he would in consequence be weakened for life." 

Says Speck, of the Tuskegee: 

'■ Dm'ing menses the woman remained in seclusion and did not 
come into contact with anything belonging to her household. At the 
approach of cliildbirth she also retired to the seclusion lodge and 
neither she nor the father resided in the usual house for the period 
of a month. The mother was allowed to partake of food from the 
time the child was born, but the father fasted for four days there- 
after. For a month after the event, the mother was not allowed to 
prepare her husband's meals nor to eat or sleep with him, and he 
on his part was not allowed to touch her."*" 

'» Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 123-124. *» Speck in Mem. Am. Anth. .A.s.s'n, vol. n, p. 116. 


The point of particular interest about this quotation is that it 
contains almost the only reference to a custom resembhng the 

Hitchcock's information comes mainly from the Tukabahchee, 
and is as follows: 

"When [a woman] is visited with what is peculiar to the sex . . . 
she is obliged to occupy a separate tent or house, to eat from separate 
dishes, and to live entirely apart from all others until it is passed. 
Then she is taken and thoroughly washed, whether in winter or 
siunmer, and returned to the family. The utensils used by her are 
laid aside until required for a similar purpose. No man is ever 
allowed to sit in the seat which has been used by a woman under those 

"At the period of childbirth the woman is obliged to leave the 
house and the child must be born out of the house, winter or summer. 
The mother must not enter the house for ten days and must not 
sleep in it for two months, and if she is taken sick in giving birth to a 
child she is not allowed to sleep in the house for four months. Before 
the child is allowed to suckle it is taken to a branch or spring, and 
water is tlirown upon its tongue several times. Children are often 
bathed in a creek by the time they are a month old. Fomierly they 
were rolled in the snow to make them hardy. When the child is a 
boy, a physic maker, a sort of priest, is called upon for a preparation 
which is placed upon the mother's nipple to make the child hardy 
and brave, and an active ball player."^' 

The Alabama living in Texas say that when a woman's monthly 
sickness (holotci' taj-e'ha) came on she took a blanket and went away 
to a small house near some stream or spring to live until it was over. 
She did her own cooking there and when she drank used her two hands 
instead of a cup. During that time she might not speak to anyone. 
When the time was passed she bathed and washed all of her clothes 
thoroughly before returning home. If she ate with her family without 
having done this it was thought they would fall sick. At that time 
a man avoided walking close to a woman for the same reason. 

It is the universal testimony that the regidations observed bj- a 
girl at her first menstrual period differed in no particular from those 
undergone by her on every recurring month. 

When a woman was going to have a child she acted in much the 
same manner, only she seems not to have camped so far away. She 
observed the same regidations, however. An old woman acted as 
midwife, and for some time after its birth the child was bathed every 
day. Swan's words in the following quotation must not be accepted 
literally when he says that the young mother was "entirely alone." 
He says: 

^1 Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 

swanton! general CUSTOMS 361 

" It is an established rule, that pregnant women be entirely alone at 
the time of delivery; and this rule is rigidly adhered to. Natiu"e 
seems to have fortified them with strength to undergo the operation 
without assistance. On the 12th of December, 1790, four women 
came from the white groimd, ten miles from Little Tallassie, to sell 
horse-ropes to the beloved man. The day was cold and rainy, with a 
sleet of snow; they stayed all night. About midnight, one of them, a 
young woman, was taken in travail; her mother was with her, and 
immediately ordered her to take some fire and go into the swamp, 
about thirty rods from the out-house where they slept. She went 
alone, was delivered of her child, and at ten o'clock next morning, 
being bare-footed and half naked, took the infant on her back, and 
returned home through the rain and snow, which still continued to 
fall, without the least inconvenience. 

"This circumstance, had I not been present and seen the woman with 
the infant on her back, I might have been doubtful of its possibility."'*" 

Romans says: "The women are just as easily delivered as those of 
the other savages, and immediately after birth the infant is plunged 
into cold water." *^ 

According to Jackson Lewis a prospective mother was not allowed 
to eat at the same table as the rest of the family. 

Virility was a matter of pride with Creek men — the more children 
they had the better — and Adair says that the Indians of his acc^uain- 
tance entertained "a contemptible opinion of their females that are 
barren — sterility they consider as proceeding from the divine anger, 
on account of their conjugal infidelity." '^ 

Among many tribes t^v^ns were held in abhorrence and one of them 
was frecpiently killed, but Mr. Grayson informed me that the Creeks 
anciently considered the younger of twins was likely to make an effi- 
cient kila or prophet. 

Sometimes the child was kept from nursing for four days and was 
made to swallow certain small roots to make it live long. The same 
effect was produced by keeping it indoors four months so that no one 
could see it. 

Adair has the following to saj^ regarding the sympathetic magic 
practiced on Chickasaw babies in order to insm'e them good fortune: 

"Their male children they chuse to raise on the skins of panthers, 
on accoimt of the communicative principle, which they reckon all 
natm-e is possessed of, in conveying qualities according to the regimen 
that is followed: and, as the panther is endued with many cjualities, 
beyond any of his fellow animals in the American woods, as smelling, 

" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 271. 
" Romans, Nat. Hist. E. and W. Fla., p. 98. 
" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 72. 

82.517°— 28 24 



(eTH. ANN. 42 

strength, cunning, and a prodigious spring, they reckon such a bed 
is the first rudiments of war. But it is worthy of notice, they change 
tlie regimen in nurturing tlicir young females; these they hiy on tlie 
skins of fawns, or buffalo calves, because they are shy and timorous: 
and, if the mother be indisposed by sickness, her nearest female 
relation suckles the cliild, l)ut only until she recovers." ^ 

The following cradle songs are from the Tuggle collection, but the 
phonetics have been modernized, and the translations corrected in 
some places. 

First Version 

No'tcalit o 
Ma'kit o 
Tcl'tckit o 
Lutca tako'tcki 
Hopo'yit o 
Aya'nkit o 
Notci, notci. 

tiutca tako'tcki 
Sha'la ka'Us 
[Lalaka'li] istce' 





Ma'kit ayunks 



Lutca ho'pokan 


It will go to sleep 

That is what we say 

Your mother 

Higliland terrapin 



Sleep, sleep. 

Second Version 

It will go to sleep 

That is what we say 

Your grandmother 

Highland terrapin 


She went 

She would come back [with] 

That is what she says 

The end ("Like Selah") 

Third Version 

Go to sleep! 

Go to sleep! 

It will go to sleep 

Your father 

That is what he said and went 

It will go to sleep 

He said 

Terrapin hunting [he has gone] 

It will go to sleep 

Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 42(M21. 



A hunter passing a bear's den heard an old she bear singing to her 
cubs the follo%\4ng song: 

A'tan Down [the stream] 

Ayatco'ksg You hear the noise of her going 

Maka tcoko'fa That is what they say 

Ha'tci yo'ksan Up the stream 

Li'tkatcokat ' *' Running unseen 

Li'tkatcokat Running unseen 

A'liba Up the stream 

Ayatco'ksfe You hear the noise of her going 

Maka tcoko'fa That is what they say 

Lan iyo'ksa To the top of the bald peak 

Li'tkatcokat Running unseen 

Li'tkatcokat Running unseen 


If you hear the noise of the chase 

Going down the stream 

Then run up the stream. 

If you hear the noise of the chase 

Going up the stream 

Then run to the top of the bald peak 

Then run to the top of the bald peak 


Among early writers Swan and Adair have the most to say about 
the education of cliildren. Swan declares: 

" The father has no care of Ms own child. The invariable custom 
is, for the women to keep and rear all the children, having the entire 
control over them imtil they are able to provide for themselves. 
They appear to have a sufficient natural affection for them; they 
never strike or whip a child for its faults. Their mode of correction 
is singular: if a child requires punisliment, the mother scratches its 
leg and tliighs with the point of a pin or needle, until it bleeds; 
some keep a jaw-bone of a gar-fish, having two teeth, entirely for 
the purpose. 

"They say that this punishment has several good effects; that 
it not only deters the child from mischief, but it loosens the skin, 
and gives a pliancy to the limbs; and the profusion of blood that 
follows the operation, serves to convince the child that the loss of 
it is not attended with danger, or loss of life: that when he becomes 
a man and a warrior, he need not shrink from an enemy, or apprehend 
that the wounds he may receive, and the loss of blood, will endanger 
his life." " 

«This seems to be the nearest word to Tugfele's "Lit kahts chars." 
" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 273-274, 


The usuiil indulgence of Indian parents, especially toward their 
male offspring, was thus tempered by the intrusion of this custom 
of scratching, which is a characteristic feature of the southeastern 
area. As stated by Swan, scratching had two aspects. It was 
inflicted as a punishment, and it was administered as contributory 
to the health. Perhaps the idea in punishing by scratching was as 
much to let the evil wliich had caused the dereliction out as to deter 
the culprit by an actual infliction of pain. Nevertheless, the latter 
motive was also present. One of my Alabama informants remembers 
being scratched as a boy if he had done anything wTong. His 
mother also scratched his thighs and calves so that he could run long 
distances without becoming tired. Scratching as a punislmient 
was, however, usually dry; that for discipline or health alleviated 
by applying water in advance. 

Wliipping has already been mentioned. References to the wliipping 
of children are rare, but the following from Adair may be inserted: 

"It ought to be remarked, that they are careful of their youth, 
and fail not to punish them when they transgress. Anno 1766, I 
saw an old head man, called the Dog-King (from the nature of his 
office) correct several young persons — some for supposed faults, and 
others by way of prevention. He began with a lusty young fellow, 
who was charged with being more effeminate than became a warrior; 
and with acting contrary to their old religious rites and customs, 
particularly, because he lived nearer than any of the rest to an 
opulent and helpless German, by whom they supposed he might 
have been corrupted. He bastinadoed the young sinner severely, 
with a thick whip, about a foot and a half long, composed of plaited 
silk grass, and the fibres of the button snake-root stalks, tapering 
to the point, which was secured with a knot. He reasoned with 
him, as he corrected him: he told him that he was CheJiaJcse Kaneha- 
He [tcihaksi kania he], literally, 'you are as one who is wicked, and 
almost lost.' . . . The grey-hair'd corrector said, he entreated him 
in that manner according to ancient custom, through an effect of 
love, to induce him to shun vice, and to imitate the virtues of liis 
illustrious fore-fathers, which he endeavoured to enimierate largely: 
when the young sinner had received his supposed due, he went off 
seemingly well pleased. 

" This Indian correction lessens graduaUy in its severity, according 
to the age of the pupils. While the Dog- King was catechising the 
little ones, he said Che Hal'sinna [tcihaksina], ' do not become vicious.' 
And when they wept, he said Che-Abela Awa [tciabila awa], 'I shall 
not kill you. '"«* 

In another place the same writer remarks that in his time chil- 
dren who killed the pigs and poultry of the traders were merely 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 156-167. 


giren "ill names" by their parents, whereas "the mischievous and 
thievish were formerly sure to be dry-scratched." *' 

The lack of concern of a father regarding the bringing up of his 
offspring was due, not, as Swan seems to suppose, to unnatural 
indifference but to the fact that he was of a distinct clan and the 
bringing up fell first to the mother and then to the other adults of 
the clan to wliich she a^d her children belonged. In every clan '^* 
in each town there was one man (a pawa, "maternal uncle") looked 
to to keep Iris eye on the young people in his clan, lecture them 
at the annual busk and at other times, and if necessary chastise 
them. This man would theoretically be the oldest male clansman, 
but in fact was probably the oldest influential member. Perhaps 
the Dog-King, mentioned above, was the maternal uncle of those 
children and young people whom Adair saw him correcting, though 
the reference to his title indicates the possibility that he had some 
more general function in the Chickasaw commmiity. 

Stress should be laid on Swan's statement that scratching was a 
part of the hardening process intended for the development of 
capable warriors. 

A regulation strictly observed in early times was a daily bath in 
the nearest body of water. The Texas Alabama state that all of 
the able-bodied people — men, women, and children — as soon as 
they got up in the morning and before they went to the fire used 
to repair to the nearest creek and plunge under water four times. 
This act was supposed to make them live long, and parents forced 
their children to bathe thus even if they had to whip them. If 
snow were on the ground a person was allowed to roll in it four times 

The antiquity of this custom is indicated by its appearance in one 
of the older Alabama stories in which a bird called tciktcikano' 
plunges under water four times in the prescribed manner. Bossu, 
who knew these Indians in the middle of the eighteenth century, 
also lays stress upon it. He says that "the children at the breast 
are bathed in winter in cold water," and when they were older they 
went, after the bath, "to present themselves before the war chief 
who makes them a speech, telling them that they ought never to be 
afraid of the water, that they may be pursued by their enemies, 
that if they are taken they are placed in the frame (cadre) and burned 
alive, that it is then that they must prove by refraining from weep- 
ing that they are true men. 

"The speech finished, the chief scarifies their thighs, breast, back, 
in order to harden them against discomfort, and afterward he gives 
them heavy blows with a neck band (a carrying strap)." ^ 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 413. 

"" Or clan group; see pp. 122-123. 

" Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. u, pp. 24-25. 


From Adair wo liave the usual intimate account of this practice: 

"However, they practice it (bathing) as a religious duty, unless in 
very hot weather, which they find by experience to be prejudicial 
to their health, when they observe the law of mercy, rather than 
that of sacrifice. In the coldest weather, and when the ground is 
covered with snow, against their bodily ease and pleasure, men and 
women turn out of their warm houses or stoves, reeking with sweat, 
singing their usual sacred notes, Yo Yo, etc., at the dawn of day . . . 
and thus they skip along, echoing praises, till they get to the river, 
when they instantaneously plunge into it. If the water is frozen, 
they break the ice with a religious impatience: After bathing, they 
return home, rejoicing as they run for having so well performed their 
religious duty, and thus purged away the impurities of the preceding 
day by ablution. The neglect of this bath hath been deemed so 
heinous a crime, that they have raked the legs and arms of the de- 
linquent with snake's teeth, not allowing warm water to relax the 
stiffened skin.^' 

He adds that the women were less rigid in the performance of 
this duty, "for they only purify themselves as their discretion directs 
them." '^ This is somewhat at variance with the information I 
myself received. Bossu says that the custom of making their children 
bathe and lie upon the hard ground was to accustom them to fatigue 
and to make the surfaces of their bodies generally as tough as the 
skin of their hands and feet.'^ 

Social advancement depended almost entirely upon success in 
war, for, while it is true that other abilities were recognized, such as 
oratoiT, wisdom in council, and stoicism under trial, yet unless the 
possessor of such a gift had been on a war expedition he would not 
ordinarily receive a title and must r(^main among the boys. 

Swan says of the condition of those who had not yet performed an 
exploit in war: 

"Young men remain in a kind of disgrace, and are obliged to light 
pipes, bring wood, and help cook black-drink for the warriors, and 
perform all the menial services of the public square, until they shall 
have performed some warlike exploit that may procure them a war- 
name, and a seat in the square at the black-drink. This stimulates 
them to push abroad, and at all hazards obtain a scalp, or as they 
term it, bring in hair." ^* 

Nevertheless, the Creeks had reached that point where other 
things than war honors did count, even though only the exceptional 
youth usually had his attention turned in their direction. 

In the first place war names were sometimes granted for other 
than war-like feats. Adair tells us that they were bestowed upon 

»' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 120. " Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. 11, p. 25. 

« Ibid., p. 121. " Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 280; cf. p. 434. 


men who had obtained eagle feathers, °^ and in later times the Semi- 
nole of Florida honored in this way one who had killed a certain 
number of deer. 

Moreover, germs of what might be called higher schools of educa- 
tion had come into existence. These were in the care of those men 
who, in agreement with the usage of ethnologists, would be called 
metlicine men, but there were at least two classes of men to which 
the title would have to be applied, the healer (ahktca or hihs haya), 
one of whom officiated at every busk, and the knower (kila), who 
was a kind of soothsayer or prophet, and in his medical capacity a 
diagnostician. The first class communicated their knowletlge to 
novices for a certain consideration. They would take from one to 
four pupils at a time, have them go through a preparation of fasting 
ami sweat bathing somewhere away from the village and then incul- 
cate their mysteries. These mysteries were communicated in courses. 
The fu-st time the novices would bathe and fast for 4 days on a stretch, 
the next time for 8 days, and finally for 12 days. The completion of 
tliis last was equivalent to the taking of a very high degree and 
people who had attained it were very much respected. A more par- 
ticular accomit of tliis will be given when we come to speak of Creek 
medical practice. Jackson Lewis, from whom much of this informa- 
tion comes and who had himself taken two degrees, stated that those 
who were chosen to conduct war parties came from this class, only 
that they must be from one of the Red clans, but it is possible that 
he is speaking of the medicine man who accompanied the party in 
liis professional capacity, not of the actual leader of the party. I 
have been told that there were also graduates in the telling of myths, 
and some claimed the powers of wizards, such as an ability to fly, 
roast the hands in the fii'e, etc., "by a word." A red line painted 
from each corner of the mouth indicated that the individual so dec- 
orated wanted to play ball, that he was well up in the mysteries and 
a poweiful man generally. These graduates, of whom there were 
several in each towni, were evidently the repositories of learning, the 
keepers of the sacred myths, the historians, and the guardians of the 
supernatm-al mysteries. 

The Tukabahchee chief, hke many another Indian and white man 
before and since, thus laments to Hitchcock over the increasing insub- 
ordination of the rising generation: 

" Young people are not so orderly and obedient to the old people 
now as they used to be in the old nation. Wlien we tell them to do 
anything they seem to stop ami think about it. Formerly they 
always went at once and did as they were tokl; that is, before they 
came to this coimtry." '" 

'• Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 30. " Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 



Accounts of marriage customs among our southern tribes vary so 
much that we must sup[)ose tlie same was true of the customs them- 
selves. This variation may have been due to difference in nationahty, 
but it is rarely possible to determine to what groups if any the several 
accounts belong. The only exceptions are the description by Adair 
which, as usual, may be assumed to apply mainly to the Chickasaw 
and the notes by Bossu derived from the Alabama. Adair has the 
following to say on this subject : 

" It is usual for an elderly man to take a girl, or sometimes a child to 
be his wife, because she is capable of receiving good impressions in 
that tender state: frequently, a moon elapses after the contract is 
made, and the value received, before the bridegroom sleeps with the 
bride, and on the marriage day, he does not appear before her till night 
introduces him, and then without tapers. . . . 

"The Indians also are so fond of variety, that they ridicule the 
white people, as a tribe of narrow-hearted, and duU constitutioned 
animals, for having only one wife at a time; and being bound to live 
with and support her, though numberless circumstances might require 
a contrary conduct. Wlien a young warrior cannot dress alamode 
America, he strikes up one of those matches for a few moons, which 
they term Toopm Tdwah,^^ 'a make haste marriage,' because it 
wants the usual ceremonies, and duration of their other kind of 
marriages. . . . 

"When an Indian makes his first address to the young woman he 
intends to marry, she is obhged by ancient custom to sit by him till he 
hath done eating and drinking, whether she likes or dislikes him; but 
afterward, she is at her own choice whether to stay or retire. When 
the bridegroom marries the bride, after the usual prelude, he takes 
a choice ear of corn, and <livides it in two before witnesses, gives her 
one half in her hand, and keeps the other half to himself; or otherwise, 
he gives her a deer's foot, as an emblem of the readiness with which 
she ought to serve him: in return, she presents him with some cakes 
of bread, thereby declaring her domestic care and gratitude in return 
for the offals ; for the men feast by themselves and the women eat the 
remains. When this short ceremony is ended, they go to bed hke an 
honest couple. 

" Formerly, this was an universal custom among the native Ameri- 
cans; but this, Hke every other usage of theirs, is wearing out apace. 
The Wcst-Floridians, in order to keeji their womei^ subject to the 
law of adultery, bring some venison or buffalo's flesh to the house of 
their nominal %vives, at the end of every winter's hunt: that is 
reckoned a sufficient annual tye of their former marriages, although 
the husbands do not cohabit with them. The Muskohge men, if 

»' This should be tushpa itauaya, from tmhpa, in haste, and itauaya, to marry. 



newly married, are obliged by ancient custom, to get their own rela- 
tions to hoe out the corn-fields of each of their wives, that their 
marriages may be confirmed: and the more jealous, repeat the 
custom every year, to make their wives subject to the laws against 
adidtery. But the Indians in general, reckon that before the bride- 
groom can presume to any legal power over the bride, he is after 
the former ceremonies, or others something similar, obUged to go 
into the woods to kill a deer, bring home the carcass of venison, and 
lay it down at her house wrapt up in its skin; and if she opens the 
pack, carries it into the house, and then dresses and gives him some 
of it to eat with cakes before witnesses, she becomes his lawful wife, 
and obnoxious to all the penalties of an adulteress. . . . 

" When the Indians would express a proper marriage, they have a 
word adapted according to their various dialects, to give them a 
suitable idea of it; but when they are speaking of their sensual 
marriage bargains, they always term it, 'buying a woman;' for 
example — they say with regard to the former, Che-Awalas, 'I shall 
marry you,' . . . Che-Awala Awa, 'I shall not marry you.' But 
the name of their market marriages is Otoolpha.^'"^ [They say] Eho 
Achnmharas, Saookchda,"^ 'In the spring I shall buy a woman, if 
I am alive.' Or. Eho Achvmbara Awa,^^ 'I shall not buy a woman,' 
Salbafia toogaf,^^ 'for indeed I am poor.' . . . 

" They sometimes marry by deputation or proxy. The intended 
bridegroom sends so much in value to the nearest relations of the 
intended bride, as he thinks she is worth: if they are accepted, it 
is a good sign that her relations approve of the match, but she is 
not bound by their contract alone; her consent must likewise be 
obtained, but persuasions most commonly prevail with them. How- 
ever, if the price is reckoned too small, or the goods too few, the law 
obliges them to return the whole, either to himseh, or some of his 
nearest kindred. If they love the goods, as they term it . . . the 
loving couple may in a short time bed together upon trial, and 
continue or discontinue their love according as their fancy directs 
them. If they Uke each other, they become an honest married 
cou]>le when the nuptial ceremony is performed, as already described. 
When one of their chieftains is married, several of his kinsmen help 
to kill deer and buffalos, to make a rejoicing marriage feast, to which 
their relations and neighbours are invited : there the young warriors 
sing with their two chief musicians, who beat on their wet deer skin 
tied over the mouth of a large clay-pot, and raise their voices, sing- 
ing Yo Yo, etc. When they are tired with feasting, dancing, and 

*'■ Probably from itola, "to lie down." 

*'* Ohoyo, "woman": achumpalas, "I buy*'; saokchaha, "I hoe up land." 

" Ohoyo achumbala awa. 

» Sailbasha, "I am poor"; tuk, sign of recent past time; at, demonstrative article 


singing the Epithalamium, tluiy depart with friendly glad hearts, 
from the house of praise." ' 

Bossu's descri])tion of Alabama marriage customs is short. 

" The savages are ordinarily satisfied with one wife, of whom they 
are excessively jealous. When a savage passes tlirough a village and 
has no wife, he liires a girl for a night or two, according to his fancy, 
and the parents find in that nothing to blame;- they disturb them- 
selves very little about their girl, giving as a reason that she has the 
right to her own boily; the daughters of the savages do not abuse tliis 
liberty at all ; they find it for their interest to appear modest in order 
to be sought in marriage; but with regard to the married women they 
say that by marriage they have sold their liberty, and therefore they 
ought not to have any other men besides their husband. On their 
side [the men] reserve the right to have many wives. 

" Marriage . . . is of a simple nature, and of no other form than 
mutual consent of the parties. The future husband makes presents 
of skins and provisions at the cabin of the father of liis intended; after 
the meal there is a dance, they sing of the war exploits of the ancestors 
of the husband. Next day the oldest man presents the wife to the 
parents of her husband. That is the entire marriage ceremony. . . . 
Those who are good warriors and good hunters choose the prettiest 
girls; the others have only the rejected and the ugly." ^ 

From Romans; 

"Polygamy is here allowed, though not generally made use of; 
they marry without much ceremony, seldom any more than to make 
some presents to the parents, and to have a feast or hearty regale at 
the hut of the wife's father ; when once married the women are bound 
to the strictest observation of obedience and conjugal fidehty, [the 
Indians] saying that she that has once sold herself, can not any more 
dispose of any thing whatever; and of their wives they are the most 
tmreasonably jealous of any nation under the sun." * 

Saj'^s Bartram: 

"Amongst some of the bands in the Muscogulge confederacy, I was 
informed the mystery is performed after the following mamier. 
When a young man has fixed his affections, and is determined to 
marry, he takes a Cane or Reed, such as they stick down at the liills 
of their Bean vines for their support ; with this (after having obtained 
her parents' or nearest relations' consent) he repairs to the habitation 
of his beloved, attended by liis friends and associates, and in the 
presence of the wedding guests, he sticks his Reed down, upright in 
the groimd ; when soon after his sweet-heart comes forth with another 

' Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 138-141. 

' Girls were also olTered to strangers as a mark of hospitality; cf. Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. u, p. 17. 

' Bossu. N'ouv. Voy., vol. ii, pp. 19-21. 

' Eomans, Nat. Hist. E. and \V. Fla., pp. 97-98. 



Reed, which she sticks down by the side of his, when they are married ; 
then they exchange Reeds, whicli are laid by as evidences or certifi- 
cates of the marriage, wliich is celebrated with feasting, music and 
dancing; each one of their relations and friends, at the wedding, con- 
tributes something towards establishing the new family. As soon as 
the wedding is over, the towai is convened, and the council orders or 
recommends a new habitation to be constructed for the accommo- 
dation of the new family; every man in the town joins in the work, 
which is begun and finished in a day's tune. 

"The greatest accomphshments to recommend a young man to 
his favoinite maid, are to prove himself a brave warrior, and a 
cunning, industrious hunter. 

"They marry only for a year's time, and, according to ancient 
custom, at the expiration of the year they renew the marriage; but 
there is seldom an instance of their separating after they have chil- 
dren. If it should so happen, the mother takes the children, under 
her own protection, though the father is obliged to contribute towards 
their maintenance dm-ing their minority and the mother's widow- 

" The Muscogulges allow of polygamy in the utmost latitude; every 
man takes as many wives as he chooses, but the first is queen, and 
others are handmaids and associates. 

"It is common for a great man amongst them, who has already 
half a dozen wives, if he sees a child of eight or nine years of age, who 
pleases him, and he can agree with her parents or guardians, to marry 
her and take her into his house at that age." ^ 

Swan also recognizes that there was a diversity in marriage rites: 

" Courtship is always begun by proxy. The man, if not immediately 
acquainted with the lady of his choice, sends her his talk (as it is 
termed), accompanied with small presents of clothing, by some 
woman of her acquaintance. If the young woman takes his talk, 
his proxy then asks the consent of her uncles, aunts, and brothers 
(the father having no voice or authority in the business), which 
being obtained, the young woman goes to him, and they five together 
during pleasure or convenience. This is the most common mode of 
taking a wife, and at present the most fashionable. 

"But if a man takes a wife conformably to the more ancient and 
serious custom of the country, it requires a longer coirrtship, and some 
estabhshed formahties. 

" The man, to signify his wishes, kills a bear with his o\vn hands, 
and sends a panful of the oil to his mistress. If she receives the oil, 
he next attends and helps her hoe the corn in her field; afterwards 
plants her beans; and when they come up, he sets poles for them to 
run upon. In the meantime he attends her corn, until the beans 

« Bartram, Travels, pp. 512-513. 


have run up and entwined thoir vines about the poles. This is 
thought emblematical of their approaching union and bondage; tmd 
they then take each other for better or for worse, and are bound to all 
intents and purposes. A widow having been bound in the above 
manner, is considered an adulteress if she speaks or makes fi-ee with 
any man, within four summers after the death of her husband. 

" With a couple united in the above manner, the tie is considered 
more stronglj^ binchng than in the other case; being under this obli- 
gation to each other, the least freedom with any other person, either 
in the man or woman, is considered as adultery, and invariably 
punished by the relations of the offended party, by whipping, and 
cutting off the hair and ears close to the head." ° 

Hawkins's account is shorter and his description recalls more nearly 
the ceremonies existing in later times : 

"A man who wants a wife never appUes in person; he sends his 
sister, his mother, or some other female relation, to the female rela- 
tions of the woman he names. They consult the brothers and uncles 
on the maternal side, and sometimes the father ; but this is a compU- 
ment only, as his approbation or opposition is of no avail. ■ If the 
party apphed to approve of the match, they answer accordingly, to 
the woman who made the apphcation. The bridegroom then gets 
together a blanket, and such other articles of clothing as he is able to 
do, and sends them by the women to the females of the family of the 
bride. If they accept of them the match is made; ami the man may 
then go to her house as soon as he chooses. And when he has built 
a house, made his crop and gathered it in, then made his hunt and 
brought home the meat, and put all this in the possession of his wife, 
the ceremony ends, and they are married; or as they express it, the 
woman is bound. From the first going to the house of the woman, 
till the ceremony ends, he is completely in possession of her. 

" This law has been understood differently, by some hasty cuckolds, 
who insist, that when they have assisted tJie woman to plant her 
crop, the ceremony ends, and the woman is bound. A man never 
marries in his own tribe [i. e., clan]." ' 

Stiggins's testimony is to much the same effect: 

"It is customary among them when a man selects the one that he 
wants for wife frequently without speaking to her or consulting her 
approbation to open the subject of his wishes for an alliance in their 
family, or have it done by some of his kinspeople, to some of her 
relatives though most properly to the uncle of the woman on the 
mother's side who has entire control of his nieces in cases of mar- 
riage or otherwise. Should the offer meet his approbation he does 

« Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 268-269. 

'Hawkins in Oa. Hist. Soc. Colls., vol.m, p. 73; also p. 42 on the authority of an oUl .\hihka chief 
named Co-tau-lau or Tus-se-ki-ah Mic-co. 




not protract liis consent longer than he can Lay the proposal before 
her relations of the mother's side who are counted her mutual kins- 
men and women, in which assembly the candidate's disposition and 
other qualities are discust. Neither the father nor any of the 
woman's father's family is ever consulted in the marriage of his 
children, as he and they are not of the same family, since the primo- 
genitureship of all families descends from the mother. . . . When 
the uncle or relation has informed the rest of his kindred or clansmen 
of the proposal of marriage and by whom made, and [has indicated] 
that he approves the proposed match the rest of the family seldom 
refuse their assent; there is no fuss made of fortune, position, or 
chattels on either side. After such consultation, if the suitor should 
visit their dwelling before they do him, he is informed of the family 
acquiescence, and the bridal bed being publicly made for the pair, 
there is a conclusion of the courtsliip and marriage. After the 
consiunmation of the marriage and he finds her in clothes, should 
she be the first wife formally married to him and passes the Boss 
Ice tah with him she is received as his actual wife by his kinsfolks 
and all others. After the solemnization of the new corn feast passes 
over them she is bound to him in the conception of his family during 
life or his pleasm'e. ... As polygamy is only admitted among the 
men by the wafe's consent, they use a great deal of craft to obtain it, 
in order to keep clear of the crime of adultery. ^111 his later wives 
have to stay at their homes unless his wife should conclude with 
herself to let one stay with her in the house and do all the drudgery 
of the place as a waiting maid. By his wife's consent he can take 
as many wives or concubines as he chooses to maintain, but should 
his wife disapprove of his having a concubine and he obtain one 
against her will his wife's relations or clanspeople have it in their 
power to beat him and his concubine or second wife with sticks and 
cut off both their ears, after which he is separated from liis wife 
and he has to retain the one beaten on his account. Nevertheless 
he has it in his power to keep his old wife single for foiu- years or 
four BoosTce talis unless she should elope with a man and elude the 
vigilance of his clan to the ensuing Booske tah. Then she is clear of 
pimishment for her adultery, and ever after she is finally separated 
from liim and the control of his clanswomen." ' 

The mformation on this subject which Hitchcock gathered from 
the Tukabahchee Indians contains some items not given by anyone 
else. He says: 

"A yoimg man wishing to marry a girl to whom he has taken a 
fancy goes to an aunt or some near female connection of his own and 
tells her liis wishes. She then goes to the aunt or some near con- 
nection of the girl and makes it known. This coimection of the 

' Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., pp. 21-22. 


<;;irl then goes to the parents of the girl and tiiUs the story. The 
girl is not consulted in the case. If the ])ar(^nts are willing, a time 
for the ceremony of mari'iage is appointed by the connections. At 
the time appointed an outer house or com crib is selected near the 
girl's house and a bowl of sofkce (boiled corn) is placed under the 
pnjjecting shed of the crib in sight from the house, and liero the girl 
has the privilege of exerting a veto. The girl is informed of the 
whole business and if she chooses to allow the man to steal up and 
take a spoonful of sofkee without her seeing him, it is a marriage 
and the parties sleep the first night in the corn crib. This has been 
the old custom, but is going out of use. After the ceremony the 
yoimg man is not allowed to visit the house of his wafe by day for 
the period of a month, but must visit his wife after dark and go away 
before day. The sofkee part of the ceremony is now generally 
dispensed with. If a married man takes another wife, the first wife 
may assent to it passively or, if she chooses, she may whip the woman, 
but in this case she must move away and yield all her rights to the 
latter, who becomes the principal wife. In this way the man may 
take as many women as he pleases and is able to support. The 
wife, in the exercise of her prerogative, has a right to the assistance 
of her female relations and when it is exercised the ceremony is 
severe and makes a lasting impression. The object is to disfigure 
their victim and the wife uses her nails, scratches the face of the 
new wife, and whips her with switches. (The severity of this cere- 
mony must exercise a considerable restraint upon both husband and 
women, making it necessary to consult the wife in advance in order 
that her assent may be assured, before her rights are encroached 
upon. Alexander said he knew of a case (saw it — and heard the 
language) when a wife exercised her right, saying as she laid on the 
lash, "You think it is honey, but I will make it vinegar before I'm 
done with yoii.")'" 

"Among the Creeks" (says Claiborne), "the man-iage ceremony 
is this: The man gives the woman a piece of venison or some kind 
of meat, and she gives him an ear of corn in the presence of witnesses. 
They are then man and wife, at least until the green-corn dance. 
Then the married couple are released if either of them thinks proper 
to break the contract. In such case the woman keeps the cliildren."" 

From the accounts obtained by myself it is evident that the regular 
marriage or "binding" was a clan (or rather exogamous group) affair 
and that it could be initiated by the clan of the youth or that of the 
girl. According to one statement the maternal uncles and cousins 
of a girl — i. e., the people of her clan — talked the matter over — prob- 
ably at a clan council — and decided upon the yoimg man who ap- 

'» Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 

" Claiborne, Miss., vol. i, p. 492. 



peared to them most eligible, one who was a good hxmter, a good 
warrior, or a good ball player, or all of these, he being also of course 
outside of the proliibited degrees. All his qualifications were re- 
viewed and all possible objections, consanguineal and other, con- 
sidered. After a majority of the clan relations had agreed they 
informed the girl's parents, and the latter told their daughter to 
make her bed ready. Then the youth was brought, and, pointing 
to the bed, they said to liim, " There is yom- bed. Lie in it." Then 
they went away and left them. 

On the other hand, at a council of the clan to wliich a certain youth 
belonged it might be suggested that he was a nice fellow and getting 
along in years, and that such and such a girl was well brought up and 
cared for and an altogether desirable match, and that they had better 
send over to her people and ask for her. Then they would send some- 
one over. The people of the girl's clan would meet and say "In a 
few days you will hear from us." The time having elapsed, word 
would be sent, and, if it were favorable, in a few days more the 
young man was conducted thither. Then the parents of the girl 
informed her what was expected of her and told her to prepare her 
bed. They brought the youth in and told the two that that was to 
be their bed henceforth.'^ In olden times this was the only legal 
marriage; nevertheless, from what has been quoted it is apparent 
that temporary unions were tolerated in the nature of trial mar- 
riages or with women who had become outcasts. 

Speck was told that a wife sometimes accompanied her husband to 
his town and resided there, in which case the children belonged to 
that town.'^ This must have happened rather rarely and in any 
case would not affect the clanship of the children, which always 
remained the same as that of the mother. 

The testimony obtained from the Texas Alabama is to much the 
same effect as the foregoing. Marriages were arranged by the 
clan uncles and aunts, and the father and mother of both parties, 
who first agreed together and then talked to the young peo]ile in 
order to presuade them to agree. Wlien this was accomplished the 
girl prepared her couch for her husband, who came after all were 
asleep and got up and left before dayhght. He did the same thing 
every night for about a week, and for a month afterwards his wife's 
people did not talk much to him nor he to them. 

These ceremonies apply particularly to marriage between quite 
young people. It is said that in marriages wliich took place later 
in hfe the parties concerned had as much voice iii the matter as 
their clansmen and clanswomen. Probably they had more, as the 

" Sometimes a separate house was put up for them before the wedding toolj place. See p. 372, and Speck 
in Mem. Am. Anth. Assn., vol. u, p. 117. 
'5 Speck in Mem. Am. Anth. Assn., vol. u, p. 117. 


prospective groom at kuist would now bo a porsou of influence, able 
to make his wishes felt. 

Swan is, as usual, the dcvirs advocate for the Creeks. He says 
that "marriage is considered only as a temporary convenience, not 
binding on the parties more than one year. . . . 

" The married women are termed bound wenches — the single girls, 
free wenches. The least freedom with a bound wench is considered 
crimmal, and invariably pimished by the cropping law. 

"A })lurality of wives is allowed of — a mother and her two daughters 
are often kept by one man, at the same time; but this is most fre- 
quently by wliite traders, who are better able to support them. 
A large portion of the old and middle-aged men, by frequently 
changing, have had many different wives, and theii' children, scattered 
aroimd the country, are imknown to them. 

"Few women have more than two children by the same father; 
hence they have found the necessity of conferring the honors of 
chiefs and micos on the issue of the female line, for it would be 
inijiossible to trace the right by the male issue."'* 

Although there was no doubt an element of truth in tlus picture 
it is evident that Swan has magnified it very much, owing to his 
failiu'e to miderstand the clan system and the collective terms in 
accordance with wliich people may be fathers, mother, sons, and 
daughters to each other in name but not in fact. The reason he 
gives for matrilinoal descent is also offered by Bossu.'^ It is an old 
ex post facto explanation furnished sometimes by the Indians them- 
selves and sometimes by their white chroniclers. It has no relation 
whatever to the sexual looseness of the people. 

It win be observed that a tendency crops out here, wliich I also 
observed during my work upon the north Pacific coast, to the devel- 
opment of an official marriage and an imofficial yet tolerated miion, 
and m both cases they may be traced to the same cause. The 
official marriage in the case of young people is made for, not by, 
them. It represents the kind of union which agrees ^\^th tribal con- 
vention and ought to be best for the prosperity of the clans con- 
cerned, for the tribe, and for the couple so married The parties thus 
mated are of the proper clans, the proper standing in the tribe, the 
projjer age, and their virtues are such as to constitute a fair exchange. 
From aU a priori considerations they are the mates for each other. 
Nevertheless, the serious blows which our conventions receive are 
signs that they are only conventions after all, and the same thing 
was true in primitive society. Thus it often ha]ipened that a couple 
wliich ought to agree did not, and in such cases it was frequently 
foiuid necessary to undo what had been done. There can be no doubt 
that the frequency of divorce among many primitive peoples is 

» Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 273 " Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. n, p. 21. 



tracoablo directly to falso niatings Imnight nbcnit by official action. 
In thoii' youth a man and a woman might l>o ])assivo victims of 
mismating but, as we have seen, in later years they became to a 
great extent masters and mistresses of their o^\^^ inclinations wliich 
could then be satisfied. ^Vnother way in which this could be brought 
about was through the imofficial marriage, although this was often 
for no more lofty motive than the gratification of sexual jiassion. 
Still it was one of the safety valves which nature, outraged by un- 
natural official marriages, constructed for itself. 

Regarding divorce in late times I was told that if a married couple 
did not get along well their relatives talked to them, and if they 
still kept jiulling apart they finally let them separate. 

Bossu says on this subject: 

"A man among tlicse peoples has the liberty of leaving his wife, but 
that seldom haj:)pens; if a woman is discovered committing adultery 
the least evil that can happen to her is to be repudiated. Then the 
husband abandons the cabin; if he has children he takes care of the 
boys, and his wife of the girls; the -wife must, however, remain a 
widow for a year, while the husband can remai-ry at once. He can 
take back his wife; she, however, can not marry a second time until 
the end of a year." '^ 

Other writers are more detailed. Hawkins says: 

" Tliis (divorce) is at the choice of either of the parties; the man 
may marry again as soon as he will; but she is bound till all the 
BoosJcetaii of that year are over excepting in a case of marriage 
and parting in a season when there is no planting [or more properly 
speaking, during the season the man resides at the house of the 
woman and has possession of her during the continuation of the 
marriage ceremonj'] ; in that case the woman is equally free to con- 
nect herself again as soon as she pleases. There is an inconsistency 
in the excejition above smce, in fact, in such season there can be 
no marriage; but the chiefs, in their report on tliis article, mentioned 
it as an exception, and this practice in these cases of half marriage 
prevails imiversally. As soon as a man goes to the house of his 
bride, he is in complete possession of her till the ceremony ends, and 
during this period the exception will apply. Marriage gives no right 
to the husband over the property of his wife, and when they part she 
keeps the cliildren, the property belonging to them and her own." " 

Swan says : 

"If a separation is desired by either the man or his wife, it is com- 
monly consented to, and takes place without ceremony: but he or 
she is not at liberty to take any other person as wife or husband, 

" Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. n, p. 20. 

>' Hawkins, Ga. Hist. Sec. Colls., vol. ni, pp. 73-74. The bracketed clause is wanting in the Library 
of Congress copy of the Ms. It repeats the second sentence from the end. 

82517°— 28 ^25 


until aflor tho celebration of the ensuinj:; husk, at which, if they 
att(>n(l and ]Kirlake of the ])hysic and ])athing, they arc at once 
exonerated from the marriage-contract, and at liberty to choose 
agiiin: l)ut to be only intimate M-ith any other person, between the 
time of se])aration and the ceremony of the next busk, is deemed as 
adultery, and would incur the penalty of whipping antl cropping, 
as the custom of the country requires. This pvmishment, however, 
depends, sometimes, on the superior strength of the clan to which 
the injured ])arty belongs." ** 

Bartram evidently has in mind only cases of adultery when he 
says that a divorced woman was looked upon as a harlot.'' 

Says Stiggins: 

"Should she [the wife] be indolent and given to quarrel with him 
[her husband] and inattentive to his wants and disobedient to his 
commands, in any of the aforesaid cases he can make complaint to 
her family of such and quit her and marry another without a murmur 
from her clan or family. But in case she should prove a lewd woman 
and inconstant to him, she can be punished by his family or clans- 
people by beating her with large sticks until she cannot move and 
the cutting off both her ears close to her head, though the punish- 
ment maj^ be inflicted contrary to the will or consent of her husband, 
which frequently happens. Then after her punishment for her in- 
constancy it is optional \nth her husband to repudiate or retain her 
still as his wife." ^^ 

The option of the husband is, as has been seen, denied by several 
other authorities.^' As Stiggins's sources of information were of the 
best, it is probable either that the custom varied in different parts 
of the Creek area or that in his time the usage in this particular had 
begun to alter. 

From an old Creek Indian I have the following account of the cus- 
toms observed with respect to widows and widowers: 

"A woman remained with her husband's parents for four years 
after the beginning of her widowhood. At the expiration of that 
period her husband's sisters would dress her up, take her to a dance, 
and tell her to enjoy herself. Then the people of her husband's clan 
would hold a council and select a good man for her. If she did not 
like him she was free to marry whomsoever she chose. Their duty 
was completed. It was the same when a man was left a widower, 
only then they talked to the woman fLxed upon until she consented. 
After a man's wife died they would build a scaffold right over her 
grave and let the widower He there four days. If he went with 
another woman before four years were completed they cut the 
end of Ms nose off and the end of the woman's nose and tm-ned them 

18 Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 273. " Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Narr., p. 22. 

u Bartram, Travels, p. ill. " See pp. 350-351. 



loose. If a widow went astray during her mourning period they 
would cut her ears off and those of her accomplice. If a widow 
walkcil into a streani antl a man walked into the same stream above 
so that the water ran down from him to her they were apt to cut off 
the ears of the two in just the same way. In passing a widow a man 
had to go to leeward of her if he wished to pass and escape punish- 
ment. (The same rules probably applied to widowers as well.) 
After the widow had received a new husband or the widower a new 
•mie possession was given for one night, and then if they did not hke 
each other they separated." 

The next is from Sonak hadjo, chief of the Mikasuki: 
" When a man died his wife had to remain a widow for four years, 
and during aU of that time her condition was marked by the fact that 
she did not take any care of her hair. Every four months, however, 
another woman combed and cared for it for her. The widow also 
wore little clothing, merely a sheet around her body in even the cold- 
est weather. When the foiu" years were expired she bathed, put on 
good clothing, combed her hail', and waited until there was a big 
dance. Then her husband's sister, his niece, or some other near 
female relative of Iiis led her to the dance after it had begun. If there 
was a suitable single male relative of her former husband he married 
her; if not the female relative said: 'I have no one to support you, 
so I will let you go. Go and look for yourself. ' A widower had to 
wait only four months; otherwise he behaved similarly." 

The foUo^ving accoimt comes from the Alabama Indians of Texas: 
"After a man had lost his wife he remained in the house naked for 
four days. At the end of that time his wife's brothers brought a 
shirt and put it on him, and they aU took their guns and went hunting. 
Perhaps a month later his wife's brothers again came to him, took 
him to a creek and washed his head and dressed up his hair, and after- 
ward they took him to the ball ground. There he sat, looking at 
the ground sadly, as if he were sick, but afterward he could go any- 
where by himself. He could not marry outside of the clan of his 
former wife until four years were past, but he might marry his wife's 
sister in less time, and by his wife's sister is apparently meant any of 
the women of his fu-st wife's clan. If he were a good man he could 
get his wife's sister easily; if not she woiild not be given to him. 

"A woman left a widow remained in the house for four days, 
perhaps longer, and after some time, perhaps a year, her husband's 
sisters would come to her, take her to a stream, wash her head, 
dress her hair, give her a complete outfit of clean clotliing, and carry 
her to the ball ground. There were sLx to ten women in all, one of 
whom acted as leader. Afterward the woman could go to the baU 
ground as much as she pleased." 


The man who furnished this account had himself been a widower 
twice, and therefore he ought to have been well informed regarding 
the regulations. 

The best early account of ceremonies connected with widowhood 
is given by Stiggins, who says: 

''It is customary for the clans peo])le not to tolerate the widowed 
man to play jokes or touch a woman nor a woman a man during 
their [period of mourning]. -- 

"As I have gone tlu'ough their marriage ceremonies and touched 
on their state of widowhood,^' I think it necessary to enlarge and be 
moi'e explicit on the subject, therefore after marriage, should they 
live inseparable during their life, on the death of either the survivor 
is made a widow of in the following manner: viz., admitting that the 
woman should be the survivor, immediately after the man's burial 
the women on his mother's side connected to him, or liis clan women, 
who are all the widow's guardians or retainers, proceed to divest her 
of her gay apparel and her other ornaments of dress such as brooches, 
beads and necklaces, and unloose her hair and spread it over her 
shoulders, in wliich situation she is to remain and consider herseK a 
mourner for four years for her deceased husband, unless she is sooner 
relieved by the compassion of her retainers though at any time of 
her widowhood one of her deceased husband's brothers or cousins 
on his mother's side can relieve her by taking her to wife liimseK. 
Should he have a wife at the time it cannot be mm'mured at by any 
one as he is in duty naturally bound to raise seed to his brother and 
she is at his option or disposal; or she can be relieved by the clan 
women after a consultation. Should they think her in a bad situa- 
tion they very often, before the expiration of her widowhood, have 
compassion on her forlorn state and then give her a comb to comb 
her hair, or some of them comb her hair for her, and [they] invest her 
with such clothes and ornaments as those of which she was divested for 
her widowhood.^* After they have gone through tliis ceremony with 
her she is at liberty to marry whom she pleases, but should she not 
await the formal relief of her retainers, but in contempt of their pre- 
rogative, take to combing of her hair or marry a husband, they can 
treat her inconstancy in this as in any other case of adultery should 
she do it before the expiration of four years or four Booshe tahs, from 
the death of her husband. But if she marries a man and elopes with 
him and eludes the vigilance of her retainers to the expiration of the 

" A line is wanting in the original manuscript at this point, but the words in brackets complete the 
sense sufficiently weU. 

" See pp. 372-373. 

" On this point compare what Adair says (pp. 382-383) and the following from Gregg: "She (the widow) 
remains in strict mourning for four years, with dishevelled hair and without combing — unless the relatives 
of the deceased interfere; whereby it is sometimes put an end to in a few months, provided the sincerity 
of her grief be evident and her conduct meritorious." (Commerce of the Prairies, In Early Western 
Travels, vol. 20, p. 316.) 



ensuing anniversary of the new corn crop then she is free of their con- 
straint and can live with her husband without fear of punishment. 
Her husband is inseparably bound to her and cannot be implicated 
in the crime of adultery with her, all the crime being imputed to her 
lewd disposition and incontinency. The same constraint, ceremony, 
and restrictions are observed with the man should his wife die first," ^' 
From a somewhat later period comes this information: 
" Wlien a husband dies his female relations have a right to prevent 
the marriage of the widow for fom- years. After the husband is 
buried the relatives take the widow from the grave to the nearest 
liranch and immerse her in water; if once, she must remain a widow 
for one year; if twice, two years, and so on, but they can not exceed 
four years. If there is no branch near they perform the ceremony 
by dashing a bucket of water upon her, once, twice, and so on. . . . 
After the immersion she is carried back to the house where her hus- 
band died and is shut up within the house and kept there four days. 
A httle girl is appointed to attend her and supply her with food, and 
no other person is allowed to go near her. In four cases out of five 
the husband is buried in the house where he died, under the bed, and 
the woman is obUged to sleep in the bed the four nights of her confine- 
ment to the house. A shed or small house is prepared near the dwell- 
ing, and after the four days have expired she is assigned to that 
house and compelled to live there during the period of her widow- 
hood — one to four years. During that time she is not allowed to 
make or receive visits. No one is allowed to enter the house, though 
they may talk to her at the door. She is not allowed to wash her 
face, or comb her hair, or change her dress. The httle girl attendant 
may "look " her head, and is privileged to eat what she finds — and she 
generally avails herself of the privilege. At the expiration of the 
widowhood the deceased's relatives repair to the house, take posses- 
sion of the widow and wash her from head to foot (it is the female 
relations who do aU this), comb her hair and dress it, and clothe her 
completely, often with a great deal of finery, and convey her to the 
Square, where a dance has been appointed for the occasion. She 
looks at the dance and joins in it if she chooses, and the same female 
relatives select some man to pass the night with her, and release her, 
as it is called, from her widowhood. The man must be single,^^'^ and 
if after the night's acquaintance the parties agree, they hve together 
as man and wife; if not, they separate and are free to do as they 
please. If a wife dies her female relations take the man to the 
branch [and treat him as in the case of a widow] except [that] the 
widower cannot be retained a widower over four months, and at the 
expiration of the time the women select a partner for the night as 
before." 2« 

" Stiggins, Ms. Hist. Xarr., pp. 22-24. 

""* This is in case the widow is not espoused by her brother-in-law. 

'• Hitchcock Ms. notes. 


Elsewhere the same obsen^cr informs us that, in 1840, the Creek 
national council undertook to reduce the period of enforced widow- 
hood to 12 months, but so much opposition was aroused that they 
were forced to restore the old law the next year.^^ 

The Tukabahchee chief informed Hitchcock that when there were 
widows or orphans with no one to take care of them he called the 
people out and liad thom put up a house for them, fence in a garden, 
and plant corn. 

Claiborne says: 

"With the Creeks, when a man dies, his wives can not dress up, 
or go into company, or attend the dances or appear in the town 
square, or bind up theu- hair for the period of 12 months, during 
which time they must remain chaste under the penalty of beating 
and cropping as above stated. The relations of the deceased hus- 
band have the privilege of releasing them from the observance of this 
custom before the year is out, but they seldom do so." -^ 

The fact comes out plainly in all of these accounts that the clan, 
or rather the family group within the clan, which has furnished the 
husband or the wife of the widow or widower feels itself under obli- 
gations to supply his or her place, and on the other hand that it has 
the prior right to supply it. That not mere!}'' the man but the 
group had acquired the right to the individual is shown clearlj^ by 
Swan's statement above that a widow who made free with any man 
imtil after four summers was considered an adulteress. This does 
not mean a communal right, however; merely a riglit to fm-nish the 
bereaved party with another spouse. 

As might have been anticipated, Adair has a great deal to say on 
this subject, though it must be imderstood that his remarks apply 
more particularly to the Chickasaw : 

"All the Indian widows, by an established strict jienal law, mourn 
for the loss of their deceased husbands; and among some tribes for 
the space of three or four years. . . . 

"The Muskohge widows are obliged to live a chaste single life, 
for the tedious space of four years; and the Chikkasah women, for 
the term of thi"ee, at the risque of the law of adultery being executed 
against the recusants. Every evening, and at the very dawn of 
day, for the first year of her widowhood, she is obliged through the 
fear of shame to lament her loss, in very intense audible strains. . . . 

" Their law compels the widow, through the long term of her weeds, 
to refrain all public company and diversions, at the penalty of an 
adulteress; and likewise to go with flowing hair, without the privilege 
of oil to anoint it. The nearest kinsmen of the deceased husband, 
keep a very watchful eye over her conduct, in this respect. The 

i." See p. 334. 
" Claiborne, Miss., vol. I, p. 493. 


place of interment is also calculated to wake the widow's grief, for 
he is intombed in the house under her bed. And if he was a war- 
leader, she is obliged for the first moon, to sit in the day-time imder 
his mourning war-pole,-* which is decked with all his martial tro- 
phies, and must be heard to cry with bewailing notes. But none of 
them are fond of that month's supposed religious duty, it chills, or 
sweats, and wastes them so exceedingly; for they are allowed no 
shade, or shelter. This sharp rigid custom excites the women to 
honour the marriage-state, and keeps them obliging to their hus- 
bands, by anticipating the visible sharp difficulties which they must 
undergo for so great a loss. The three or four years monastic life, 
which she lives after his death, makes it her interest to strive by 
every means, to keep in his lamp of life, be it ever so dull and worth- 
less; if she is able to shed tears on such an occasion, they often 
proceed from self-love. We can generally distinguish between the 
widow's natural mourning voice, and her tmieful laboured strain. 
She doth not so much bewail his death, as her own recluse life, and 
hateful state of celibacy; which to many of them, is as un eligible, as 
it was to the Hebrew ladies. . . . 

"The Choktah Indians hire mourners to magnify the merit and 
loss of their dead, and if their tears can not be seen to flow, their 
shi-ill voices will be heard to cry, which answers the solemn chorus 
a great deal better. However, they are no way churlish of their 
tears, for I have seen them, on the occasion, pour them out, hke 
fountains of water: but after having thus tired themselves, they 
might with equal propriety have asked by-standers in the matter of 
the native Irish, Ara ci fuar bass — 'And who is dead?' 

" They formerly dressed their head with black moss on those 
solemn occasions; and the ground adjacent to the place of interment, 
they now beat with laurel-bushes, the women having their hair 
disheveled. . . . 

" The [Chickasaw] Indian women mourn tliree moons, for the death 
of any female of their own family or tribe. During that time they 
are not to anoint, or tie up their hair; neither is the husband of 
the deceased allowed, when the offices of nature do not call him, to 
go out of the house, much less to join any company; and in that time 
of mourning he often Ues among the ashes. The time being expired, 
the female mourners meet in the evening of the beginning of the 
fom-th moon, at the house where their female relation is intombed, 
and stay there tiU morning, when the nearest surviving old kins- 
woman crops their fore-locks pretty short. This they call Elio 
Intanaah,-^" 'the women have mom'ned the appointed time.' . . . 

" The war-pole is a small peeled tree painted red, the top and boughs cut off short; it is fist in the ground 
opposite to his door, and all bis implements of war, are bung on the short boughs of it, till they rot — Adair. 
The use of this war-pole was not shared by the Indians of the Creek confederacy. 

2«a Kho^ohoyo; iniaiidah, probably from tani, "to rise up from a prostrate position." 


[KTir. ANN. 42 

When the_y have eaten and ch-ank together, they return home by 
sun-rise, and thus finish their solemn Yah-ah. 

"Ahhouijh a widow is bound, by a strict penal law, to mourn the 
death of her husband for the space of three or four years; yet, if she 
be known to lament her loss with a sincere heart, for the space of a 
year, and her circumstances of living are so strait as to need a change 
of her station — and the elder brother of her deceased husband lies 
with her, she is thereby exempted from the law of moui-ning, has a 
liberty to tie up her hair, anoint and paint herself. . . . 

"The warm-constitutioned young mdows keep then- eye so intent 
on tliis mild beneficent law, that they frequently treat their elder 
brother-in-law ■wdth spirituous liquors till they intoxicate them, and 
thereby decoy them to make free, and so put themselves out of the 
reach of the mortifying law. If they are disappointed, as it some- 
times happens, they fall on the men, calling them Hoohulc Wakse, or 
SJcoobdle, Hasse h-oopha, 'Eunuchus praeputio detecto, et pene 
brevi;' the most degrading of epithets." ^^^ 

A class of prostitutes existed among the southern Indians, com- 
posed of those who had committed adultery and had been cast off by 
their husbands, and those who for any other reason had become out- 
casts. Such women are said to have been the only ones to paint 
their faces. It was among them that many of the temporary mar- 
riages already spoken of were contracted. 

It is hard to explain where Milfort got the idea that a Chickasaw 
widow was buried alive with her husband, for which there is not the 
slightest evidence outside of his own testimony .^^"^ It is not impossible, 
however, that he derived it in some manner from the ancient Natchez 
custom which apphed only to widows of members of the nobihty 
or Suns. Some color is lent to this suggestion by the fact that the 
Natchez and Chickasaw were more or less mixed together in the 
Chickasaw countiy and among the Upper Creeks. But neither 
with the Natchez were widows buried alive; they were first strangled. 


Jackson Lewis, one of my oldest and best informants, said, "In 
ancient times men and women were almost like two distinct peoples." 
In fact the old habitations usually comprised two or more buildings 
in one of which the woman sj>ent most of her time while her husband 
occupied the other and entertained there his male friends. To the 
present day this division is kept up in one form or another. Some- 
times there are two small buildings with an open porch between; 
sometimes two rooms end to end with open fireplaces at the opposite 
ends. In Plate 7, a, is shown a typical Seminole house in Oklahoma 

« Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., pp. 186-190. "' Miltort, M6m., p. 286. 



as it appeared in 1912. This was largely because it was thought that 
to sleep much with women enervated a man and incapacitated him 
as a warrior.^" Adair says that in tlieir town houses the women 
were separated from the warriors, and were merely allowed to sit 
at each side of the entrance "as if they were only casual spectators,"" 
and anciently they had no seats on the square ground. Among the 
Chickasaw six old beloved women were the only participants in the 
annual ceremony. ^= 

Regarding the labors of women the last mentioned writer declares: 
" The women are the chief, if not the only, manufacturers ; the men 
judge that if they performed that office, it would exceedingly depre- 
ciate them." '^ In fact women anciently, in addition to the indoors 
work of the house, made all of the pottery and basketry, and did all 
of the spinning and weaving of bison hair, mulberry bark, etc. The 
initial preparation of skins was sometimes performed by men, but 
most of the subsequent work upon it fell to the women. They made 
drying fi-ames and dried peaches and other fruits upon them, and 
they of course pounded the corn and did the cooking. 

The principal occupations of the men were hunting, ball playing, 
war, and rites connected with the use of medicine and ceremonial 
affairs. They built the houses, the corncribs, and the structures 
belonging to the square ground, felled trees, made canoes and mortars, 
drums, pipes, calumets, ball sticks, and of course in olden times the 
axes and the arrows, bows, war clubs, and most of the other articles 
used in hunting and war. When himting at a distance from home 
they cut up the meat, loaded it on horses, and brought it back. It 
is evident that their labors amounted to considerable in the aggregate, 
although they were not so evenly sustained throughout the year as 
those of women. The smaller garden plots were cared for almost 
exclusively by women, but the town fields were tended by individuals 
of both sexes, and Bartram says that "there are not one-third as 
many females as males seen at work in their plantations; for, at this 
season of the year, by a law of the people, they do not himt, the game 
not being in season till after their crops or harvest is gathered in, so 
the males have little else with which to employ themselves." ^^ Later 
on in the season the same writer tells us that the labor falling upon 
women was harder. 

"In the hunting season, that is in autumn and winter, the men are 
generally out in the forests, when the whole care of the house falls 
on the women, who are than obliged to imdergo a good deal of labor, 
such as cutting and bringing home the winter's wood, which they 
toat on their back or head a great distance, especially those of the 
ancient large towns, where the commons and old fields extend some 

" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 272. " Ibid., p. 423. 

" .\dair, Hist. Am. Inds,, p. 121. " Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. m, p. 31. 

" Ibid., pp. 96-97. 


miles to the woodland. But this labor is in part alleviated by the 
assistance of the old men, who are past their liunting days and no 
longer participate in the wars; who remain m the towns. They have 
likewise the aid of horses in this work. The women also gather an 
incredible amount of nuts and acorns, which they manufacture into oil 
for annual consumption." ^^ 

Altogether Bartram's judgment regarding the position of women 
among the Creeks was very favorable. 

"You may depend upon my assertion that there is no people any 
where who love their women more than these Indians do, or men of 
better understanding in distinguishing the merits of the opposite sex, 
or more faithful in rendering suitable compensation. They are 
courteous and jiolite to the women, and gentle, tender and fondling, 
even to an appearance of effeminacy, to their offspring. An Indian 
never attempts, nay, he can not use towards a woman amongst 
them any indelicacy or indecency, either in action or language. 

"I never saw or heard of an instance of an Indian beating his 
wife or other female, or reproving them in anger or in harsh language. 
And the women make a suitable and grateful retm-n; for they are 
discreet, modest, loving, faithful, and affectionate to their hus- 
bands. "'' 

On the other hand we find Pope saying : 

" The cultivation of the soil and almost every domestic drudgery are 
imposed upon their women, who are less prolific than ours; probably 
owing to their hard labor and excessively coarse and scanty diet." '^ 

Romans says: " The labour of the field is aU done by the women, ' '^' 
and in another place he thus enlarges upon their work in general. 
The "principal exercises [of the men] at home are ball jihiAnng in the 
manner afore related, and the just mentioned dances ; the women are 
employed, besides the cultivation of the earth, in dressing the victuals, 
preparing, scraping, brauiing, rubbing and smoaking the Roe skins, 
making macksens of them, spinning buffaloe wool, making salt, pre- 
paring cassine drink, drying the chamsewps and fassiflora, making 
cold flour for traveUing, gathering nuts and makmg their milk; 
likewise in making baskets, brooms, pots, bowls and other earthen 
and wooden vessels." ^* 

Hawkuis says tersely that the Creek men made slaves of their 
women who in turn exercised "absolute ride, such as it was, over 
their children."^" 

However, Swan is as usual the leading devil's advocate against 
the Creeks. He remarks: 

M Bartram in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, vol. iii, pp. 31-32. 

's Ibid., p. 31. 

" Pope, Tour, p. 60. 

'» Romans, Nat. Hist. E. and W. Fla., p. 93. 

" Ibid., p. 90. 

•1 Hawkins, Letters, in Ga. Hist, Soc. Colls., vol. IX, p. 83. 



" The women perform all the labor, both in the house and field, 
and are, in fact, but slaves to the men, being; subject to their com- 
mands without any will of their o^\^^, excejit in the management of 
the children. They are universally called wenches; and the only 
distinction between them and the negro women is, that they have 
Indian children; and when a man would have you miderstand that 
he is speaking of his wife, he designates her as his son's mother, etc. 
Yet in this imhappy, servile state, the women are remarkable for 
their care and attention to the men, constantly watching over them 
in their desperate dnmkenness and quarrels, with their utmost 
solicitude and anxiety. . . ."^^ 

"A stranger going into the country must feel distressed, when he 
sees naked women bringing in huge burdens of wood on their backs, 
or bent under the scorching sun, at hard labor in the field; while the 
indolent, robust young men are riding about, or stretched at ease on 
some scaffold, amusing themselves with a pipe, or a whistle. "'^ 

In another place we read: 

" The men, in general, are of a good size, stout, athletic and hand- 
some: the women are of good height, but coarse, thick-necked and 
ugly. Being condemned, by the custom of tlie country, to carry 
burdens, pound corn, and perform aU the hard labor, they are uni- 
versally masculine in appearance, without one soft blandishment to 
render them desirable or lovely. Both sexes have a ])hlegmatic 
coldness and indifference, imconmion and unknown to most white 
people. "^^ 

This last statement Swan confirms by citing the apparent indiffer- 
ence exhibited by a husband and wife when they met after a long 

I may add that in 1911-12 I was several times told that Creek 
Indians woidd let their wives walk home from town carrying heavy 
loads, while they hung about for some time and finally hired a livery- 
man to take them, perhaps passing their wives on the way. 

Nevertheless, the condemnation of the Indians by Pope, Swan, 
and others is as unintelligent as the praises bestowed by Bartram. 
A people or a person can be judged properly only by observing the 
conformity or lack of conformity which their actions bear to the 
ethical and social standards among them, not by the measure of 
ethical or social standards among other people. And secondly, the 
])resence or absence and in general the intensity of emotions can not 
be assmned because their expression is less or different from that to 
which the critic is himself accustomed. I have ah-eady called atten- 
tion to Swan's misconception regarding marriage relations owing to 
the difference between the significance of Indian and white terms 

" Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. T, p. 272. " Ibid., p. 275. " Ibid., p. 274. 


of relationship." In the quotation given above he makes another 
bhnnler M'hon he assumes that from the apparent intUfference ex- 
hibited b_y an IncUan couple when they meet after a long separation 
a constitutional "phlegmatic coldness and indifference" may be in- 
ferred. The self-restraint and seeming imconcern exhibited was 
simply a native custom from which nothing at all regarding the real 
feelings could be deduced. It may be added that the hard life of 
Indian women to which he refers was not usually considered hard 
by them but as the customary and essential, and it was in large 
measure but their share of a life which was harder all around than 
the lives of many civilized human beings. It was certainly not as 
hard as the lives of many of our sweatshop and mill operatives, and 
there is this to be said for it besides that it did not exist side by side 
with and thereby shame a theoretically lofty moral standard. On the 
other hand the "care and attention" which Creek women bestowed 
upon their men must be read in connection with the drastic regula- 
tions to which a widow was subjected.''*'' Collective virtues and 
vices are so closely bound up with economic conditions that it would 
be easy to show how both as they exist among Indians show to ad- 
vantage or suffer in comparison with virtues and vices among our- 
selves. It is probably true also that white contact by putting an 
end to intertribal warfare and to hunting, the chief occupations of 
the men in olden times, has shown up the division of labor between 
men and women with some disadvantage to the men, because the 
old traditions regarding division of labor have persisted into a 
period when a new arrangement is rendered necessary. Tliis is not 
said with the idea of justifying Indian or European customs. Some 
of these were doubtless due to economic conditions which were indeed 
their sufficient excuse at one time. Many, too, may be perversions 
of customs which once had some reason for their existence though 
the perversions themselves have not and never had any such basis. 
In these cases history may furnish a palliation and an excuse but it 
can not give a justification, and the sooner such custom is abolished 
the better. 

It is not just then to condemn the Creeks on account of some of 
their customs or to praise them overmuch on account of others. 
But, abstracting the customs themselves from the people, we may 
say that those of the Creeks were upon the whole on a distinctly 
higher level than the customs of most of the hunting tribes of Ameri- 
can Indians and indeed than those of most of the agricultm-al tribes 
about them. 


In the accounts of bm-ial customs, as well as in those of marriages, 
there are considerable differences, and here again it is evident that 

" See p. 376. "" See pp. 382-384. 


the customs themselves -were diverse. As usual, I place first what 
Adair has to say upon the subject, his account being one of the oldest. 
It probably contains the best exposition of the ancient rites among 
the Chickasaw. In these as in so many other matters the Chicka- 
saw were nearer to the Creeks than to the related Choctaw. 

.\fter stating that the boues of those who had died at a distance 
from home were gathered and brought back and that in burying 
they separated them carefully from the remains of other people — 
by whicli he probably means not only other tribes but other clans 
of the same tribe — Adair continues as follows: 

"When any of them die at a distance, if the company be not 
driven and pursued by the enemy, they place the corpse on a scaffold, 
covered with notched logs to secure it from being torn by wild beasts, 
or fowl of prey; when they imagine the flesh is constmaed, and the 
bones are thorouglily dried, they return to the place, bring them home, 
and inter them in a very solemn manner. They will not associate 
with us, when we are bmying any of our people, who die in their 
land; and they are umvilling we should join with them while they 
are performing this kindred duty to theirs. Upon which accoimt, 
though I have lived among them in the raging time of the small- 
pox, even of the confluent sort, I never saw but one bm-ied, who was 
a great favourite of the English, and chieftain of Ooeasa as form.erly 

" Tlie Indians use the same ceremonies to the bones of their dead^ 
as if they were covered with their former skin, flesh, and ligaments. 
It is but a few days since I saw some return with the bones of nine 
of theu' people, who had been two months Ijefore killed by the enemy. 
Tliey were tied in white deer-skins, separately; and when carried by 
the door of one of the houses of their family, they were laid down 
opposite to it, till the female relations convened, with flowing hair, 
and M^ept over them about half an hour. Tlien they carried them 
home to their friendly magazines of mortality, wept over them 
again, and then buried them with the usual solemnities; putting their 
valuable eflFects, and as I am informed, other convenient things in 
along with them, to be of service to them in the next state. Tlie 
chieftain carried twelve short sticks tied together, in the form of a 
quadrangle; so that each square consisted of three. The sticks 
were only peeled, without any paintings; but there were swans 
feathers tied to each comer, and . . . the}' called that frame, TereeJcpe 
toheh,*^ 'a white circle,' and placed it over the door, while the women 
were weeping over the bones. . . . 

'■ When a warrior dies a natural death (which seldom happens) the 
war-drums, musical instruments, and all other kinds of diversion, are 

*s Byington gives tilikpi as an ancient word meaning "shield " and distinct from the word for circle. 
Tohbi is "white." 


laid asido for (Ih^sj)!icc of throo (lays and nights. . . . [And whetlicr 
the deceased is a warrior or not] "they wash and anoint the corpse, 
and soon bring it out of doors for fear of pollution; then they place it 
oj)positc to the door, on the skins of wilil beasts, in a sitting posture, 
as looking into the door of the winter house, westward, sufficiently 
supported with all his movable goods; after a short cuJogium, and 
space of mourning, they carry him three times around the house in 
which he is to be interred, stojiping half a minute each time, at the 
place where they began the cu-cle, wliile the religious man of the 
deceased person's family, who goes before the hearse, says each 
time, Yah, short with a bass voice, and then invokes in a tenor key, 
Yo, which at the same time is likewise sung by all the procession, as 
long as one breath allows. Again, he stiikes up, on a sharp treble 
key, the foeminine note. He, which in like manner, is taken up and 
continued by the rest : then all of them suddenly strike off the solemn 
chorus, and sacred invocation, by saying in a low key, WaJi. . . . 
This is the method in which they performed the funeral rites of the 
chieftain before referred to; during which time, a great many of the 
traders were present, as our com23any was agreeal)le at the interment 
of our declared friend and patron. . . . 

"Wlaen they celebrated these funeral rites of the above chieftain 
they laid the corpse in his tomb, in a sitting posture, witli his face 
towards the east,^^ his head anointed with bear's oil, and his face 
painted red, but not streaked with black, because that is a constant 
emblem of war and death; he was drest in his finest apparel, having 
his gim and pouch, and trusty hiccory bow, with a yoimg panther's 
skin, full of arrows, along side of him, and eveiy other useful thing 
he had been possessed of, — that when he rises again, they may serve 
him in that tract of land which pleased him best before he went to 
take his long sleep. His tomb was firm and clean inside. They 
covered it with thick logs, so as to bear several tiers of c}'press bark, 
and such a quantity of clay as would confine the putrid smell, and 
be on a level with the rest of the floor. They often sleep over those 
tombs; which, with the loud wailing of the women at the dusk of the 
evening, and dawn of the day, on benches close by the tombs, must 
awake the memory of their relations very often; and if they were 
killed by an enemy, it helps to irritate and set on such revengeful 
tempers to retaliate blood for blood. . . . 

"These rude Americans . . . imagine if any of us were buried in 
the domestic tombs of their kindred, without being adopted, it would 
be very criminal in them to allow it ; and that our spirits would haimt 
the eaves of the houses at night, and cause several misfortunes to 
their family. . . . 

" In later times, when the body was buried at full length, the head was consequently toward the west. 
This seems to have been the custom of most of the Southeastern Indians. 



"To perpetuate the memory of anj- remarkable warriors killed in 
the woods, I must here obseiTe, that every Indian traveller as he 
passes that way throws a stone on the place, according as he likes or 
dislikes the occasion, or manner of the death of the deceased. 

"In the woods we often see innumerable heaps of small stones in 
those places, where according to tradition some of their distinguished 
people were either killed, or buried, till the bones could be gathered; 
there they add Pelion to Ossa, still increasing each heap, as a lasting 
monument, and honor to them, and an incentive to great actions. . . . 

"The Indians place those heaps of stones where there are no 
dividings of the roads, nor the least trace of any road. And they 
then observe no kind of religious ceremony, but raise those heaps 
merely to do honor to their dead, and incite the living to the pursuit 
of virtue. . . . 

"To prevent pollution, when the sick person is past hope of 
recovery, they dig a grave, prepare the tomb, anoint his hair, and 
paint his face; and when his breath ceases, they hasten the remainmg 
funeral preparations, and soon bury the corpse. One of a different 
family will never, or verj" rarely, pollute himself for a stranger; though 
when living, he would cheerfully hazard liis life for his safety; the 
relations, who become unclean by performing the funeral duties, 
must live apart from the clean for several days, and be cleansed by 
some of their religious order, who chiefly apply the button-snakeroot 
for their purification, as formerly described: when they purify them- 
selves by ablution. After three days, the funeral assistants may 
convene at the town-house, and follow their* usual diversions. But 
the relations live recluse for a long time, mourning the dead. . . . 

"The modern Indians bury all their movable riches, according to 
the custom of the ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, insomuch, that 
the grave is heir of all. ... 

"Notwithstanding . . . they never give tliem the least disturb- 
ance; even a blood-thirsty enemy v/LU not despoil nor disturb the 
dead. The grave proves an asylum, and a sure place of rest to the 
sleeping person, till at some certain time, according to their opinion, 
he rises again to inherit his favorite place, — unless the covetous, or 
curious hand of some foreigner, should break through his sacred 
bounds." «» 

Adair cites an instance of reform, however, in the case of Malahche, 
chief of Coweta, and a long-standing friend of the whites, who left 
all of his property to his relations instead of allowing it to be buried 
with his corpse.*' 

In another place ^Vdair says that — "When any of their relations 
die, thej' immediately fire off several guns, by one, two* and three at 

M Adair, Uist. Am. Inds., pp. 178-181. " Ibid., p. 178. 


a time, for fear of being ])lagued with the hist troublesome neighbors 
[the souls of the depart oil] : all the adjacent towns also on the occasion, 
whoop and halloo at niglit; for they reckon, this olFensive noise sentls 
off the ghosts to their proper fixed place, till they return at some 
certain time, to repossess their beloved tract of land, and enjoy their 
terrestrial paradise." " 

In still another place he notes that immediately after anyone had 
died the father or a brother of the deceased took a live firebrand, 
brandished it two or three times about his head with lamenting 
words, dipped it into the water with his right hand and let it sink 

Romans states that — 

" The dead are buried in a sitting posture, and they are furnished 
with a musket, powder and ball, a hatchet, pipe, some tobacco, a 
club, a ]>ow and arrows, a looking glass, some vermillion and other 
trinkets, in order to come well provided in the world of spirits." '* 

Pope says that the articles buried \\-ith the deceased included, 
besides inanhnate objects, " horses, cows, hogs, and dogs, " and he 
cites the case of a girl with whose corpse a favorite pig was buried.^' 

It seems improbable that large animals like horses and cows should 
be disposed of in such a manner, yet Hitchcock supports Pope's 
statement in the matter of horses and dogs.^°* 

Bartram's account perhaps applies to a period when the custom 
of bur3dng things with the deceased had begun to decline. He says: 

"The Muscogulgees bury their deceased in the earth. They dig 
a four-square deep pit under the cabin or couch which the deceased 
lay on, in his house, lining the grave with cj^)ress bark, where they 
place the corpse in a sitting posture, as if it were alive; depositing 
with him his gun, tomahawk, pipe, and such other matters as he had 
the greatest value for in his life time. His eldest wife, or the queen 
dowager, has the second choice of his possessions, and the remaining 
effects are divided amongst his other mves and children."^* 

The Creek burial is thus described by Swan: 

"When one of a family dies, the relations bury the corpse about 
four feet deep, in a round hole dug directly under the cabin or rock 
whereon he died. The corpse is placed in the hole in a sitting pos- 
ture, with a blanket wrapped about it, and the legs bent under it 
and tied together. If a warrior, he is painted, and his pipe, orna- 
ments, and warlike appendages are deposited with him. The grave 
is then covered with canes tied to a hoop round the top of the hole, 
and then a firm layer of clay, sufficient to support the weight of a 
man. The relations howl loudly and mourn publicly for four days. 

M Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 36. " Pope, Tour, p. .18. 

" Ibid., p. 405. "" See p. 393. 

" Romans, Nat. Hist. E. and W. Fla., pp. 98-99. » Bartram, Travels, pp. 513-614. 



If the deceased has been a man of eminent character, the family 
immediately remove from the house in which he is buried, and 
erect a new one, with a belief that where the bones of their dead 
are deposited, the place is always attended by ' goblins and chimeras 
dire.' " " 

Elsewhere he says : 

"If a man dies in the town the square is hung full of green boughs 
as tokens of mourning; and no black-drink is taken inside of it for 
four days. 

"If a warrior or other Indian is killed from any town having a 
square, black-drink must be taken on the outside of the square; 
and every^ ceremony in its usual form is laid aside until satisfaction 
is had for the outrage." ^* 

Hitchcock's notes shed new light upon the subject: 

"The custom of firing fom* guns, one at each corner of a grave, 
has for its object to send the spirit of the deceased off. This custom 
is stiU prevalent. 

"At a bm-ial everything of the nature of personal property is 
buried with the body of the deceased. Formerly horses were kiUed 
and bmied, a dog, and the hke. The clothing is stiU buried with 
the dead. The dead have no shoes or moccasins on, but are buried 
in stockings or barefooted. Their friends don't wish to hear them 
walking about. The face of the <lead is painted red and black, 
ear bobs are put on, etc., and their friends frequently throw tokens 
into the grave. The dead are buried with a handkerchief in each 
hand. If a man dies from drunkenness, a bottle of whiskey is buried 
■with him, as they say that, dying fi-om hquor, he will want a dram 
when he awakes in the other world. 

" The male and female friends of the dead, meet for four successive 
mornings after the burial and cry. When a chief dies his friends 
take the black drink eight successive mornings and Uve on gruel 
or white sofkee made without salt. All those who are engaged in 
the burial of a dead body are obhgated to wash their hands in the 
same bucket of water before they touch anything. They think 
that to touch a child or anything a child eats from before purification 
will make the child sickly. It is a common behef that only the 
relations of the dead must bury the dead and that if any other 
person, not a relative, touches a dead body that person will be the 
next to die. In consequence of this, when sickness prcvailetl to a 
great extent and great numbers died in 1837 and 1838 many were 
not buried, but their bones yet whiten upon the surface of the ground 
in various parts of the nation." '' 

" Swan, in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, p. 270. '« Ibid., p. 265. '• Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 
82517°— 28 26 


He does not speak of the grave as situated under the house floor 
in tlie abo^'o account but in another place ho indicates that, if it 
were not then tlie custom to phico it tliere, it had been sucli only a 
short time before. 

"Mr. Chapman told me at the North Fork that there were not 
more than 300 remaining of Black Dirt's party of Seminoles, about 
200 having died. 'There are two under that bed,' said he, pointing 
to the bed where I had slept the night preceding. I looked toward 
the bed, when he added 'and one under our feet' (just in front of 
the fh-e place). When Black Dirt first came to this country [by 
the Canadian in Oldahoma] from Florida in 1836 he settled on the 
North Fork and occupied the house we were then in and, it seems, 
had buried some of his family or friends under it. That was the 
fi-iendly part of the Seminoles who separated fi-om the hostiles in 
1835 on the death (mm-der) of Charley Emathla, who was killed by 
the hostiles for consenting to emigrate. ' ' ^° 

Following is Doctor Speck's account of the burial rites in use 
among the Tuskegee Creeks: 

"The body, as soon as the soul, residing in the heart, has left it, 
is treated as follows: The male members of the family take their 
guns and go outside of the house and there fire them off to make 
known the death to the rest of the viUage. The friends and relatives 
then assemble at the house and spend some time in mourning and 
expressing grief. No one, however, cares to touch the corpse in 
fear of evil consequences. It is said that during an epidemic some 
time ago there was such difficulty in getting persons to dispose of 
the dead that the bodies lay around the village imburied until the 
people had to leave. Only persons who have been properly fortified 
by magic rituals dare handle the body. 

"The corpse is then carried to the burying ground, where a grave 
has been dug, and lowered in. Some relative then discharges a rifle 
toward the four cardinal points. Slabs of elm-bark are put over the 
body, and as soon as the earth is thrown in they clap their hands 
and shout and laugh. Cofl'ee is put in a cup over the left shoulder 
and clothes are laid along the side of the body. The fresh earth 
dug from the grave is believed to produce sickness in the form of 
rheumatism in the person who steps on it. A small house, either of 
logs or of boards, is then constructed over the grave. A fire is kin- 
dled at the head of the grave and tended for four days by the rela- 
tives until the soul is believed to have reached the passage to the 
sky. As soon as they reach home after the interment the members 
of the family put some powdered ginseng, or white root, into a cup 
and blow it aroimd the house and yard to keep the spirit of the dead 
from returning. Formei'ly horses were killed at the grave in order 
that their spirits might carry the soul toward the sphit land. 

60 Hitchcock, Ms. notes. 


"The fire, which was always burning in the house, was allowed 
to go out when a death occurred, so when the mortuary rites were 
concluded a new fire was kindled with a ceremony and song called 
tu' tkamodj^sa ingasupid, 'fire new its cooling.' " " 

Jackson Lewis told me that in Alabama, where he was born, 
burial inside the house was usual. The grave was dug in one corner 
flush with the wall, for there were then no floors, and after the body 
had been placed within, they raised a little house over it, 2}4 or 3 
feet high, and covered it with split planks laid close together. They 
daubed the sides and top with a thick coating of clay and used the 
grave as a bed. But before doing so they made some medicine and 
sprinkled the walls, the ceiling, and in fact the entire house with it 
in order to counteract any evil influences that might emanate from 
the body. Jackson Lewis's own father, who had been killed by a 
white man in the old country, was cared for in this manner. After 
moving to Oklahoma the Creeks buried mostly away from the houses. 
The body was drawn up and placed in a sitting posture facing the 
east, because that quarter is associated with the renewal of life. 
The grave was lined with split planks, and a rug, or else some cloth, 
was laid on the bottom. The man who dug the grave and handled 
the body had been provided with a medicine made of four herbs — 
horsemint, maremint, spicewood, and everlasting — and he anointed 
himself with tliis from time to time. After they had placed the 
body in the grave each of those present brought a handful of earth 
and threw it in. Then, at the direction of the man who had charge 
of the ceremony, all marched douTi to the creek and plimged under 
water four times, after wliich they rubbed medicine on their bodies. 
No food was placed by the body, only certain articles of which the 
deceased had been very fond. A fire was lighted near by and kept 
burning for four days, because, as one informant explained, the 
ghost of a dead man stays about for that length of time. When his 
soul was supposed to be taking its departure from his body guns 
were discharged. The ceremony of throwing earth on the corpse, 
was also related by a Cherokee Indian as a custom of his people, and 
it may have been introduced by the whites, although the man who 
gave me most of the above information was advanced in years and well 
up in the old customs of his people. The Cherokee Indian just 
mentioned was present once at the burial of a Creek woman, and he 
says that all sorts of things were inhumed with the body, including 
nice dresses and the varieties of food that she liked best. When the 
first earth was being put in they added some live coals. Then the 
body was covered over completely, and the medicine man blew into 
a pot of medicine in which everyone present washed his or her face 
and hands, sprinkling some over the clothing. The medicine man 

" Speck in Mem. Am. Anth. Assn., vol. n, pp. 118, 119.J 


also liiul all of liiciii drink n liltio of it. The mention of food is in 
disagreement with what I was told by others, and no one else seemed 
to know about the live coals. The doctor, however, was a Natchez, 
and the customs obsoi-vod may have been in part Natchez customs. 
A little structm'e of logs laid lengthwise and surmounted by a shingled 
roof was built in later times over each grave, and made just large 
enough to cover it (pi. 1, c). A half mile south of Seminole, Olda., I 
saw a grave in which slabs of stone took the place of wood. Eakins says 
that "The ages* of deceased persons or number of scalps taken by 
them, or war-parties which they have headed, are recorded on their 
grave posts by this system of strokes, " *^ meaning single strokes for 
units and crosses for tens. This recording of ages can have been 
only in very late times, if at all, as they were generally ignorant of 
these. During the period of mourning the relatives of the deceased 
painted their faces black all over. Unlike the custom in many 
tribes, the name of the deceased could be mentioned, but he was 
always referred to in the plural as " they. " 

From Sonak hadjo, chief of the Mikasuki, I obtained the following 
information which is of particular importance because there is evi- 
dence that the Mikasuki are a branch of the Chiaha Indians and 
through them related to the ancient Yamasee and the Indians of 
the Georgia coast. 

In very old times when a Mikasuki died they took his body to a 
forked tree and laid it in the fork face down and head to the west. 
They bm-ned his jjroperty. Later they left it by his body instead. 
Before the Civil War, however, they changed the custom of burying. 
They then laid down some split logs, placed the body upon these, and 
arranged other spht logs at the sides and over the top. Then they 
set up a couple of logs at each end in the form of a St. Andrew's 
cross, laid another log upon the crotches, and along each side placed 
a row of short logs, with then- upper ends resting on the long log. 
A number of persons prepared this grave, working at night, and they 
laid the body in it. After they had gotten through and had returned 
to the house from which the body had been taken a pot of medicine 
was prepared, the medicine man blew into it, and they then had to 
drink this and vomit it up. After that they could eat. The persons 
who performed this service were taken from several different clans. 

A fire was formerly built at the head of the grave, and it was 
kept up for four days. At the end of that time the fire was put out 
in the house where the man had died and a new one was built. Before 
the Civil War, if a man had a horse that he loved very much, they 
shot it close to his grave; they also broke his favorite gun on a tree 
antl tlu'ow the pieces by the body. The same thing would be done to 
the leg-rattles of a woman, and they also bm-ned up her property. 

« Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. I, p. 273. 


After the Civil War they began to bury in the ground, lining the 
grave with split logs and also covering it with them. Then, too, only 
about four persons ilid the work. Wliilc they were so employed they 
had their faces painted red, and this paint was called tisi'. For the 
space of four months after the duty had been accomplished they had 
to eat apart out of a separate dish. If they belonged to different 
houses each man had his own dish. If the burial was in winter they 
hoed away the grass, leaves, branches, etc., from the grave so that 
the grave house wouhl not be burned. 

Before the Civil War there was a chief of the Mikasuki named 
Kapitca miko (Mikasuki Kapitc miki). When he died tliey laid his 
body away, south of Wetumka, in the olil manner, wdthout diggmg a 
grave. Afterward the Negro slaves went there and piled a great 
quantity of stones above it. Sonak hadjo himself saw it in that 
place after the war. This was not a regidar custom, but the Indians 
did it at that time because they had Negro slaves to command and 
because they thought a great deal of that cliief. 

"Wliile the Yamacraw Indians were in England with Tomochichi 
one of their number died and was buried by his companions in the 
ground, strapped between two boards." "' 

Bossu has the following regarding the burial customs of the Ala- 
bama in the middle of the eighteenth century: 

"The AUibamons bury their dead in a sitting position; in order 
to justify tliis usage they say that the man is uj^right, and has liis 
head turned toward the heaven his dwelhng, and that it is for this 
reason that they bury their fellowmen in this attitude; they give him 
a calmnet and tobacco to smoke in order that he may make peace 
vrith the people of the other world; if he is a warrior he is buried with 
his arms, which are a gvm, powder, and balls, a quiver provided with 
arrows, a bow, a casse-tete, whether a wooden club or a liatchet, and 
moreover a mirror, and some vermilion with which to make his toilet 
in the world of soiils. 

"When a man kills himself whether from despair or in sickness, 
he is deprived of burial, and thro^vn into the river, because he is 
then considered a coward." ^* 

In another jjlace he speaks of the mourning on account of a war 
chief in the following terms : 

"When a great war chief of the nation dies the mourning consists 
in refrainmg from painting oneself and batliing; the men daub the 
whole of their bodies with soot which they dilute with bear's oil; in 
a word they renounce all kinds of diversions. " ^' 

^Vs the southern Indian world of the dead was overhead Bossu's 
explanation of their reason for burying the body sitting up probably 

*3 Jones, Antiquities of the Southern Indians, p. 185. 
^ Bossu, Nouv. Voy., vol. u, pp. 49-50. 
"Ibid., pp. 40-41. 


involves one real aboriginal explanation of the custom. His ac- 
count of the treatment accorded the body of a suicide I have seen 
nowhere else. 

The Alabama now living in Texas give the following account of 
their old burial customs: 

Nowadays several persons dig a grave, but in former times a single 
old man performed the ofhce. While he was at work upon it he ate 
b}" himself, for it was thought that anyone who ate with him would 
fall sick. He did not smoke, and, no matter how hot the sim was, he 
drank no water. Anciently the body was bundled tightly together, 
wrapped about, and phiced upon a board which was then sunk into 
the earth, head to the east, so that when liis spirit got up it would be 
in the right position to start on the spirit trail westward."' A frame- 
work of poles was afterwards put all about the grave. Afterwards 
the gravedigger washed his clothes, took some of the button-snake 
root, and vomited. Then he could eat, and the relatives of the 
deceased gave him a horse in payment. Those who attended to 
burials in later times must duck all over in the creek four times no 
matter how cold the weather. My informant had done this when 
ice was on the water and the snow fl\"ing, and he almost fainted 
from the cold. Blankets were put under the head of the corpse as 
a pillow and a butcher knife in his hand with wliich to fight off an 
eagle supposed to infest the trail of the dead. For four days the 
wife or husband and the children and near relatives visited the grave 
every morning before brealdast and every evening before supper, 
and at theu' evening visits they lighted a fu-e at the head. After each 
of these visits they went to a stream, bathed all over, and washed 
their clothing before they ate. For four days they must eat no food 
that contained salt, and during the same period they remained quiet 
and made no noise. Not only the family but all of the people ab- 
stained from playing ball then, though they might do some hunting. 

Although the hxter accounts do not mention the custom of dis- 
charging a gun the moment a death took place, it appears from 
Gregg that it was maintained until after the Creeks had removed 

Among all of the Creek tribes a miscarriage, a stillborn child, or a 
very young cliild was laid away in a hollow tree where it was nicely 
ceiled in. Otherwise it was thought that there would be a drought, 
that a pestilence would break out, or that deaths from other causes 
would occur. 

The DniRNAL Cycle 

Adair has the foUowiug regarding divisions of the day recognized 
among the Chickasaw, with which those of the Creeks were prac- 
tically identical: 

^ This means that the body was laid flat on its baclj. The orientation must have been dillerent from 
that common among the Creelis generally. 
" Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, in Early Western Travels, vol. xx, p. 316. 


" ThoT count the day also by the three sensible differences of the 
sun, like the Hebrews — sunrise, theyternij Hasse hootcha meente [liaslii 
kucha minti], 'the sun's coming out'; — noon, or mid-day, Tdbookbre 
[tabokoli]; and sun-set, Hasse Oobea [hashi abia], literally, 'the smi 
is dead'; Iilve^\^se, Hasse OoTdca'tbra [hashi okatula], that is, 'the 
sun is fallen into the water'; the last word is compounded of OoJcJca 
[oka], water, and Efora [itola], to fall; it signifies also 'to swim,' as 
instinct would direct those to do, who fell into the water. And they 
call dark, Ookklille [oklih] — derived from Ooklca [oka], water and 
Illph [iUi], dead; *^ wliich shews their opinions of the sun's disappear- 
ance, according to the ancients, who said the sun slept every night 
in the western ocean. They subdivide the day, by any of the afore- 
said three standards — as half way between the sun's coming out of 
the water; and in Uke manner, by midnight, or cock-crowing, etc." *' 

The Creeks rose early, and, as we have already described, ran to 
the creek or the nearest water to plimge in four times before they 
retm-ned to the fire. Perhaps they owed to this regulation ia a 
measure their skill as swimmers. 

Adair says: 

"Except the Choktah, all our Indians, both male and female, 
above the state of infancy, are in the watery element nearly equal to 
amphibious animals, by practice: and from the experiments neces- 
sity has forced them to, it seems as if few were endued with such 
strong natm-al abilities, — very few can equal them ia their wild situa- 
tion of hfe." '0 

He attributes the deficiencies of the Choctaw in this particular to 
an absence of deep rivers or creeks in their coimtry and he was so 
much impressed by the failing that he mentions it four times and 
gives it as the principal cause of the greater part of the losses they 
had suffered in their wars with the Muskogee.^' How much truth 
there may have been in this we do not know. Whatever there was 
coultl probably have been traced to something in their environment 
or their customs. 

While in later times, at least, the ancient Creeks did not have meals 
at regular hours as with us, they had two meals at irregular hours, 
one between 7 and 10 in the morning, the other around 2 in the after- 
noon. There was always a pot of sofki ready into which anyone 
could dip whenever the spirit moved him, and Swan says they re- 
sorted to it about once an hour.^^ This was their only supper. 
Labor was performed early by both men and women, and ordinarily 
it was laid aside about 2 o'clock, after which a ball game might be 
indulged in, and in the evening a dance until late at night. 

•* The etymology is probably altogether wrong. " Ibid., pp. 283, 291-202, 304, 404. 

" Adair, Hist. .\in. Inds., p. 76. " Swan in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. V, p. 274, 

'» Ibid., p. 404. 


Tlio following cross-section of a Seminole Indian village "in action" 
is given by Bartram, and is interesting in this connection: 

"As I continued coasting the Indian shore [i. e., the west shore of 
the St. Jolins River] ... on doubling a promontory, I suddenly 
saw before me an Indian settlement, or village. It was a fine situa- 
tion, the bank rising gradually from the water. There were eight 
or ten habitations, in a row or street, fronting the water, and about 
fifty yards distant from it. Some of the youth were naked, uj) to 
their hips in the water, fishing with rods and lines; whilst others, 
younger, were diverting themselves in shooting frogs with bows and 
ari'ows. On my near approach, the little children took to their 
heels, and ran to some women who were hoeing corn ; but the stouter 
youth stood their ground, and, smiling, called to me. As I passed 
along, I observed some elderly people reclined on skins spread on 
the ground, under the cool shade of spreading Oaks and Palms, 
that were ranged in front of their houses : they arose, and eyed me as I 
passed, but perceiving that I kept on without stopping, they resumed 
their former position." "^ 

The xVnnual Cycle 

Adair says that the Indians divided the year into four seasons, 
spring, simimer, autumn, and winter, and numbered the years by 
any one of them. He gives the names of these periods in the Cherokee 
and Chickasaw languages. The last are Otoolpha, Tome palle, 
Ashtoramoona, and Ashtora.'^ He derives Otool])ha from "ooljaha, 
the name of a bud or to shoot out," but I am unable to identify the 
word in Choctaw unless it is dlha, "vegetation, herbs, plants, weeds," 
and it may be a Cliickasaw term. Tome palle signifies "bright and 
warm" or "warm brightness." Palle, or paUi, is a Chickasaw word 
and it would seem from Byington's dictionary "''" that it M'as later 
used by itself to signify "summer." The next name would be in 
Choctaw Jidshtula himona or hdshtuldmmona, " the beginning of win- 
ter," and the last hdshtula. Hdshfida means "winter" in Choctaw as 
well as Chickasaw, but autumn is hdshtuIaJipi, "beginning of winter," 
the significance being about the same. The Choctaw, however, use 
to/a for summer and fofaJipi for spring. 

In Creek, while the distinction of fom- seasons was probably made, 
at least at times, out of regard for the sacred number four, sum- 
mer and winter were, as Swan tells us, principallj^ used in counting 
the years, and the months were divided into two series wliich wore 
supposed to correspond to those two seasons but in fact cut both 
summer and winter about in half."' The existence of the two series 

" Bartram, Travels, pp. 90-91. " Bull. 46, Bur. Amer. Ethn. 

" Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 74. '" Swan in Sclioolcraft, Ind. Tribes, vol. v, pp. 276-277. 



accounts for a discrepancy between the statements of Adair and 
Swan, the former asserting that the year began with "the first 
ai^pearance of the first new moon of the vernal equinox,"" while the 
latter placed it at the time of the busk,'* though even then the cor- 
respondence is not perfect. Nevertheless Adair says in another place 
that from the period of the busk "they cornit their beloved, or holy 
things. "'° Adair's first statement was no doubt influenced by a 
desire to square Indian and Hebrew customs, and it is perfectly 
evident that from the Creek point of view the busk was the real 
new year. The Creek months were named as follows : 

Winter Series 

August, Hayo Jako, ''much heat" (or "big ripening" month). 
September, Otowoskutci, "little chestnut" (month). 
October, Otowoski lako, "big chestnut" (month). 
November, Iholi or Yihull, indicating a change in the weather. 
December, Lafo lako, "big winter" (month). 
January, Lafo tcusi, "little winter" (month). 

Summer Series 

February, Hotali hasi, "wind month." 

March, Tasahtcutci, "little spring" (month). 

April, Tasahtci lako, "big spring" (month). 

May, Ki hasi, "mulberry month." 

June, Katco hasi, "blackberry month." 

July, Hayutci, "little warmth" (or "little ripening") (month). 

The list recorded by Swan, which is divided as above, is the oldest 
kno\vn. Other lists were made by Buckner and Herrod, Loughridge 
and Hodge, Gatschet, and the writer. My own was obtained from 
Jackson Lewis and agrees substantially with that given above except 
in the interpretation of the names for September and October. 
Lewis called these "little-change-of- weather month" and "big- 
change-of- weather month," respectively, deriving them evidently 
from otuJii, "damp," "moist," and a term waski, "to scatter," 
appearing in uski waski, "drizzling rain." In the face of all of the 
other authorities this can hardly be accepted. Buckner and Herrod *" 
invert the names given December and January, calling the former 
Lafo tcusi and the latter Lafo lako. They stand alone in this. All 
authorities except Jackson Lewis interpret Uioli, "frost month," 
but, while this may be correct, the usual word for "frost" is Mtuti. 

A note by Doctor Gatschet states that they attempted to restore 
the months to their proper positions in the annual cycle by insert- 
ing a supernumerary month every second year. No doubt some 
such device was resorted to, but it was probably only in later times 
that the con-ection was made with such regularity. 

" Adair, Elist. .\m. Inds., p. 76. A writer in Schoolcraft says "they compute the year from the budding 
of the trees." And he adds that it consisted of an indefinite number of moons. (Ind. Tribes, vol i, p. 271.) 
" Swan, op. cit., p. 276. 
" Adair, op. cit., pp. 76-77. 
w Qrammar of the Maskwke, or Creek Language, p. 29. 


Tiio native nanios f(ir the months in Alal)Hnia and Koasati luivo 
almost passed out of nicmory. Tho following is a nearly complete 
list, but there is still some doubt as to whether the terms are all 
accurately applied. A in parenthesis indicates the Alabama term, 
K the Koasati term. 

August, Ta'kola waj'a' base', "Wild peaches ripe moon/' (A). 

September, ?. 

Octolier (?), Tokobe' hase', "Frog moon" (A). 

November, Oki Idtca', "Black water" (water black with leaves, etc.) (A). 
Bohole'x tcoba', or Boholo's kona', "Whippoorwill moon" (the former a big, the 
latter a small variety) (K). 

December, La'fi tcoba', "Big winter" (K). 

January, La'fotcose', or La'fi otcose' "Little winter" (K). 

February, ?. 

March, Mahale' hase', "Wind moon" (A and K). 

April (?), Nasa'ltci hase', "Planting moon" (A and K). 

Ma.y, Ba'ktco tabatle' hase', " May haws ripe" (A and K). 

June, Hase' baka'pka, "Half way month" (because the sun then turns south 
again) (A). Hase' tatcolafka' (K). 

July, Behe' lebatka' hase', " Mulberries ripe " (A). Behe' waya' hase', "Mul- 
berries ripe " (K). 

The Alabama term for June is given on the authority of John 
Scott, the chief of the tribe; the others are from George Henry, a 
Koasati, Cehssy Henry and Charlie Thompson, Alabama Indians. 
The last thought that there was also a "yellow leaf" month. 

On comparing the Creek and Alabama hsts it is seen that four of 
the names agree in both and two of these, the terms for December 
and January, agree in apphcation also, while the apphcation of the 
term Windy moon differs so shghtly that it is evidently intended 
for the same period. The Mulberry months in these hsts are, how- 
ever, two months apart, and there is evidently some mistake. This 
may be due to a failure in the memories of my Alabama and Koasati 
informants, or it may have begun in aboriginal times on accoimt of 
the lack of agreement between the nimiber of lunations in successive 
solar years. Evidently some rough correspondence must have been 
brought about in ancient days by sliifting the names sUghtly in order 
to make them fit the seasonal change to which they referred. Such 
a shift was by no means confined to the Alabama, for it appears in 
the hsts of Choctaw months recorded by Cyi'us Byington, in which 
the Wind month is given as Jmie-July, Mulberry month as Sei^tember- 
October, and Blackberry month October-November.*' The appear- 
ance of these names in Choctaw also shows that certain of the month 
names were once identical throughout the South, although at the 
same time it is probable that there was considerable local variation. 

8S Bull. 46, Bur. Amer. Ethn., art. hashi. 



In the Yuchi calendar recorded by Doctor Speck five months agree 
with those m Swan's list, with but slight variation, both in name 
and in the period of the year to wliich they were applied. It seems 
rather curious that these aU belonged to the summer series.** 

Adair says of the Indians of his acquaintance: "Tliey pay great 
regard to the first appearance of every new moon, and, on the occa- 
sion, always repeat some joj^ful sounds, and stretch out their hands 
toward her — but at such times they offer no public sacrifice." *^ 
And in another place he remarks that they "annually observed their 
festivals ... at a prefixed time of a certain moon." *" 

House building was a social affair and was distributed between 
the sprmg and fall. Adair gives a very lively account of the opera- 

"While the memory of the bleak puacliing winds lasts, and they are 
covered vnih. their winter-blackened skms, they turn out early in the 
spring, to strip clap-boards and cypress-bark, for the covering of 
their houses: but in pi'oportion as the sma advances, they usually 
desist from their madertaking during that favourable season ; saying, 
' that in the time of warm weather, they generally plant m the fields, 
or go to war; and that building houses m the troublesome hot sum- 
mer, is a needless and foolish affair, as it occasions much sweating,' — 
wliich is the most offensive thuig m life to every red warrior of manly 
prmciples. On this accomit, if we except the women chopping fire- 
wood for daily use, it is as rare to hear the soimd of an ax in their 
countries, as if they lived under the inhospitable torrid zone; or were 
nearly related to the South-American animal Pigritia, that makes 
two or three days journey m going up a tree, and is as long in. return- 
ing. When the cold weather ajjproaches, they return to their work, 
and necessity forces them then to perform what a timely precaution 
might have executed with much more ease. When they build, the 
whole town, and frequently the nearest of their tribe in neighboring 
towns, assist one another, well laiowing that many hands make 
speedy work of that, which would have discouraged any of them from 
ever attempting by liimseK. In one day, they build, daub with their 
tough mortar mixed with dry grass, and thoroughly finish, a good 
commodious house. ^"^ 

" They first trace the dimensions of the intended fabric and every 
one has his task prescribed hmi after the exactest manner."*^ 

Tliere was, of course, nothing like a week among them in olden 
times, though Bartram assures us that the Creeks at one of the towns 
through which he passed remained quietly m their houses on Sunday 
out of respect to the white people.*' The Alabama have the following 

" Speck, in Anthr. Pubis. Univ. Mus., Univ. Pa., vol. i, p. 67. " But see p. 372. 

" Adair. Hist. Am. Inds., p. 76. " Adair, op. cit., p. 417. 

» Ibid., pp. 99-100. " Bartram, Travels, p. 456. 


terms for tlic days of tho week: iu"tii holo', "holy clay," Sunday; 
ni"ta ho'liu ni''ta, '"day after holy day," Monday; ni"ta ato'kla, 
''second day," Tuesday; iii"ta tutci'ua, "tlurd day," Wednesday; 
ni"ta osta'ga, "fourth day," Thursday; ata'Iapi, "fifth day," 
Friday; ni"ta holosi, "little holy day," Saturday. Christmas is 
ni"ta holo' tcoba', "big holy day," m Koasati, and Kilisine', 
" Christmas," in Alabama. 

After the busk men and women alike devoted the rest of the 
summer largely to the cultivation and harvesting of their crops. la 
the fall took place the Skunk Dance. After that the huntmg 
began, and the men were away from town much of the time, but, when 
there was plenty of food or the game was near town, ball contests 
in which huntmg played a part took p